Approximately 1 in 8 women, or 12% of women will develop breast cancer over the course of a lifetime. It is good to be aware of the risk and to understand ways to identify and address signs of breast cancer.
For years, studies have shown that for early-stage breast cancer, women who have breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) followed by radiation treatments live just as long as women who have mastectomy. This was good news for women who wanted to avoid having their whole breast removed.
The average woman has a small chance of getting breast cancer and an even smaller chance of getting ovarian cancer. But if someone in your family has had breast or ovarian cancer, your chances of getting those cancers may be higher.
Decision Point You may want to have a say in this decision, or you may simply want to follow your doctor's recommendation. Either way, this information will help you understand what your choices are so that you can talk to your doctor about them.
Breast-conserving surgery, such as lumpectomy, removes the cancer and surrounding tissue. The goal is to take just enough tissue so that the breast looks as normal as possible after the surgery but the chance of the cancer coming back is low.
Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells that line the ducts and lobes of the breast. When breast cancer has spread outside the ducts or lobes into normal breast tissue, it is said to be invasive.