What is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is cancer that starts in breast tissue. Tumors can sometimes be felt in the breast in the form of a lump or a mass. A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray that looks for changes in breast tissue. Breast cancer can occur in different areas of the breast such as ducts, lobules, or the tissue in between. There are subtypes of breast cancer based on characteristics of the tumor cells.
Endocrine receptor-positive or hormone receptor-positive (HR+): Estrogen-receptors (ER) and/or progesterone-receptors (PR) found on breast cancer cells grow in response to estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones.
HER2-positive (HER2+): HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a protein that appears on the surface of some breast cancer cells.
Breast cancer can be positive for one, both or neither of these features. HR+/HER2- is the most commonly diagnosed type of breast cancer in the US. If the cancer is not positive for hormone receptors or HER2, it's called triple negative.
Mutations in BRCA and PI3K genes may also influence treatment options. Treatment options depend on the stage and subtype of cancer and may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted drug therapy and immunotherapy.1
How common is Breast Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 297,790 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2023. It is the most common cancer in women in the United States, with the exception of skin cancers. Breast cancer accounts for nearly 30% of new cancer cases in women. Although most breast cancer is found in women, men can also get breast cancer.2,3
There are many organizations that support research and advocacy for Breast cancer. See below for a few of those organizations.
Breast Cancer Organizations
Questions regarding your Breast Cancer therapy
You can reach the Accredo oncology care team, anytime, day or night, seven days a week.