Get answers to your Breast Cancer questions.
Cancer - breast; Carcinoma - ductal; Carcinoma - lobular; DCIS; LCIS; HER2-positive breast cancer; ER-positive breast cancer; Ductal carcinoma in situ; Lobular carcinoma in situ
Early breast cancer usually does not cause symptoms. This is why regular breast exams are important. As the cancer grows, symptoms may include:
Men can get breast cancer, too. Symptoms include breast lump and breast pain and tenderness.
Symptoms of advanced breast cancer may include:
The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and risk factors. Then the doctor will perform a physical exam, which includes both breasts, armpits, and the neck and chest area.
Tests used to diagnose and monitor patients with breast cancer may include:
If your doctor learns that you do have breast cancer, more tests will be done to see if the cancer has spread. This is called staging. Staging helps guide future treatment and follow-up and gives you some idea of what to expect in the future.
Breast cancer stages range from 0 to IV. The higher the staging number, the more advanced the cancer.
Carlson RW, Allred DC, Anderson BO, Burstein HJ, Carter WB, Edge SB, et al. Breast cancer. Clinical practice guidelines in oncology. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2009 Feb;7(2):122-92.
Chlebowski RT, Kuller LH, Prentice RL, Stefanick ML, Manson JE, Gass M, et al. Breast cancer after use of estrogen plus progestin in postmenopausal women. N Engl J Med. 2009 Feb 5;360(6):573-87.
Hayes DF. Clinical practice. Follow-up of patients with early breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2007;356(24): 2505-13.
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