Understanding Breast Cancer 

Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without normal control. It is a widespread and random disease, striking women and men of all ages and races.  It is the most prevalent cancer in the world today with about 1.7 million people diagnosed annually.  The exact cause of the disease is unknown; and at this time, there are no cures.

But there is hope. Thanks to heightened awareness, early detection, improved treatment methods and increased access to breast health services, people have a greater chance of survival than ever before.

 

Breast Structure

Image source: National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov)

 Breast tissue is a complex network of lobules (small round sacs that produce milk) and ducts (canals that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple openings during breastfeeding) in a pattern that looks like bunches of grapes. These “bunches” are called lobes.