Pacific Most Common
Breast Cancer Information for:
(Click on any link above to view the selected section)
Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells in the body grow out of control. Cancers are named after the part of the body where the abnormal cell growth begins. Breast cancers are cancer cells from the breast. When breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, they are called metastases.
Fast Facts about Breast Cancer
- Not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer in the United States is the most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity.
- The most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women.
- The second most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
In the USA in 2004 (the most recent year numbers are available for the United States):
- 186,772 women and 1,815 men developed breast cancer.
- 40,954 women and 362 men died from breast cancer.
- If you want to know more about breast cancer statistics, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Breast Cancer Statistics page.
Can Men Get Breast Cancer?
Men can also get breast cancer. In men, breast cancer can happen at any age, but is most common in men who are between 60 and 70 years old. Male breast cancer is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men.
For men, signs of breast cancer and treatment are almost the same as for women. For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Physician Data Query (PDQ) on Male Breast Cancer Treatment.
Common Kinds of Breast Cancer
There are different kinds of breast cancer. The kind of breast cancer depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. Breast cancer can begin in different parts of the breast, like the ducts or the lobes. Common kinds of breast cancer are:
Ductal carcinoma. The most common kind of breast cancer. It begins in the cells that line the milk ducts in the breast, also called the lining of the breast ducts.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The abnormal cancer cells are only in the lining of the milk ducts, and have not spread to other tissues in the breast.
Invasive ductal carcinoma. The abnormal cancer cells break through the ducts and spread into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body.
Lobular carcinoma. In this kind of breast cancer, the cancer cells begin in the lobes, or lobules, of the breast. Lobules are the glands that make milk.
Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). The cancer cells are found only in the breast lobules. Lobular carcinoma in situ, or LCIS, does not spread to other tissues very often.
Invasive lobular carcinoma. Cancer cells spread from the lobules to the breast tissues that are close by. These invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body.
Uncommon Kinds of Breast Cancer
There are several other less common kinds of breast cancer, such as Paget's disease or inflammatory breast cancer. For more information about these kinds of breast cancer, visit the NCI's General Information about Breast Cancer Treatment page.
Siteman Cancer Center Online Breast Cancer Risk Questionnaire - To estimate your risk of breast cancer and learn about ways to lower that risk, take a few minutes to answer some questions about your health, background, and lifestyle.
- Click here to take the online questionnaire.
MedlinePlus - Breast Cancer Link - MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. Please make sure you check the MedlinePlus online for breast cancer with an extensive, constantly updated resource list.
- Visit MedlinePlus.
Breast Cancer Information Online
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) among others, provide many on-line cancer resources. Please make sure you visit their constantly updated websites, reflecting the latest scientific findings and visit the links for more information about cervical cancer.
- More details, including medically graphic images, about breast cancer can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has up-to-date information for patients and practitioners about breast cancer.
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) has information about many forms of cancer, prevention and treatment.
- Often referred to as the "Komen Foundation" the Susan G. Komen for the Cure provides extensive information about breast cancer.
Printable Materials to Download
"Understanding Breast Health" - This publication form the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a basic two-page fact sheet. It describes the parts of the breast and answers common questions about breast cancer.
- Download the PDF file: (pdf 190 KB).
Understanding Mammograms - This two-page fact sheet explains what a mammogram is and when you should get one.
- Download the PDF file: (pdf 268 KB).
Mammograms and Breast Health - This 20-page brochure provides detailed information about breast health, breast cancer, and mammograms, and includes a list of resources for further information.
- Download the PDF file: (pdf 390 KB).
"What You Need To Know About Breast Cancer" - Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in this country (other than skin cancer). Each year, more than 211,000 American women learn they have this disease. You will read about possible causes, screening, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care. You will also find ideas about how to cope with the disease.
- NCI, 2006, 81 pages. Download the PDF file: (pdf 580 KB).
Traditional Medicine - In many cultures traditional medicine plays an important role in treating the sick or addressing disease. Traditional medicine, and its practice and philosophical and cultural manifestations differ greatly from culture to culture. There is not a one size fits all explanation for traditional medicine. In many Pacific cultures traditional medicine play a vital role in a communities health care, but it is ultimately up to the individual to seek help from traditional healers or not.
In the past decade the term ‘integrative medicine’ has become more common, where both Traditional and Western medical concepts can work hand in hand, focusing on what is best for the patient. Many people may seek the advise from the traditional healers in their culture, but my be reluctant to disclose this to their Western doctor. Traditional medicine can be very beneficial for many ailments, although cancer is such a complex disease that using traditional medicine alone might not be the best available treatment option. Traditional medicine has been very successful in treating e.g. nausea or rashes that often go along with many cancer treatments and western medicine might provide little relieve.
If you chose to consult a traditional healer please try to discuss this with your doctor or contact your cancer coordinator to find out what treatment options are available on your island.
- To find out more about CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) form the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Disclaimer: The Pacificcancer.org Web site provides links to other Internet sites and pdf files for informational purposes and the convenience of its users. When users select a link to an external Web site, they are leaving the Pacificcancer.org Web site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.
Pacificcancer.org does not endorse organizations that sponsor linked, external Web sites. In addition, Pacificcancer.org does not endorse products or services that such organizations may offer. Furthermore, Pacificcancer.org does not control or guarantee the currency, accuracy, relevance, or completeness of information found on linked, external Web sites