Breast cancer, a disease that often begins in the lobules or ducts of breast tissue, is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States (other than skin cancer). In 2013, nearly 233,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. While breast cancer affects mostly women, men can also develop the disease.
The identification of various subtypes of breast cancer has made it possible to personalize treatment according to the tumor type, stage of disease, and the patient's overall health and preferences. Physicians have a better understanding of which patients are likely to benefit from a particular treatment, and can deliver chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or surgery much more precisely.
Risk factors for breast cancer include but are not limited to the following:
In addition to risk factors associated with lifestyle and environmental exposures, there are breast cancer risk factors that cluster in families. Certain genetic markers have been identified which, if present, may significantly increase your personal risk of breast cancer. The Dana-Farber Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program is a nationally recognized program focused on assessing genetic risk factors associated with breast cancer and designing individualized plans for managing hereditary and familial breast cancer risk. Genetic testing analyzing the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and other breast cancer-associated genes is performed, as appropriate. Find out more about our services to help individuals at higher risk for breast cancer.
Find out more about breast cancer from the National Cancer Institute.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 | Call us toll-free: