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About breast cancer

In this section, you or a loved one can find out more about breast cancer, as well as links to other information. Being informed is an important first step towards becoming an active decision-maker in your care plan.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a cancer that originates in the cells of the breast. Before going into detail about this particular type of cancer, it’s important to understand the basics. The body is made of up millions of cells. Each cell contains genes that are basically a set of instructions that tell the cell how to grow, work, reproduce and die. Cancer is a disease that affects the set of instructions in certain cells. As a result, the instructions can be changed and the cells become cancer cells. Cancer cells may grow too much, form lumps or malignant tumours and potentially spread to other parts of the body.

People often consider breast cancer to be only one cancer. Actually, it is a group of different cancers that affect the breast. Knowing about the type of breast cancer you have can help you understand what is happening in your body and how the treatment options prescribed by your doctor work.

Types of breast cancer

The most common type of breast cancer is called ductal carcinoma because it starts in the cells of the milk ducts (or tubes) that carry milk from the glands to the nipple. Another common type of breast cancer starts in the group of glands that make milk (lobules) and is called lobular carcinoma. Less common types of breast cancer include inflammatory breast cancer, Paget’s disease of the nipple and triple negative and basal-like breast cancers.

For more information, please visit Breast Cancer Network Australia (Date last accessed 26 Oct 2016)


Please note that the information on this website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from a healthcare professional. Speak to a healthcare professional if you have any questions about your health, medical condition, symptoms or treatment options.


National Comprehensive Cancer Network  (Date last accessed 26 Oct 2016)


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