Breast Cancer information

What is Breast Cancer?

There are several different types of breast cancer, which can be diagnosed at different stages. Breast cancer can grow at different rates and have many different characteristics, which means that men and women will have different treatments, according to what will work best for them.

The term breast cancer can also be used for non-invasive changes (called DCIS or ductal carcinoma in-situ). See leaflet 'DCIS' Breast Cancer Care (BCC). DCIS is a very early change in the breast and different to invasive breast cancer. The team will explain this to you in more detail.

For invasive breast cancer see 'Treating Primary Breast Cancer' BCC leaflet.

How can I reduce my risk of Breast Cancer?

If you have a strong family history of breast cancer please see the family history section of this website.

Breast cancer is very common and usually cannot be prevented. Many factors that affect our risk of breast cancer (such as getting older) are out of our control and their effect cannot be changed.

However, research shows that some things you can do may reduce your risk of getting breast cancer or improve your chance of survival if you do get breast cancer. These include:

  • keeping a healthy weight
  • taking regular exercise
  • reducing your alcohol intake
  • being breast aware and seeing your doctor early if you notice a breast problem
  • eating a healthy diet (avoiding excess sugars, eating regular fruit and vegetables and reducing saturated fats)
  • stopping smoking

If you are interested in learning more about factors affecting your risk of breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Prevention website by clicking here.

What will happen when I am diagnosed with Breast Cancer?

Women and men diagnosed with breast cancer are cared for by a team of healthcare professionals, known as a multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Each person has their own area of expertise (see leaflet your multi-disciplinary team)

A breast care nurse is part of this team. She will support you throughout your cancer pathway discussing treatment options and making decisions about treatment.


When will I discuss my treatment options ?

There are many different treatments for breast cancer. The team looking after you will advise you about the appropriate option for you. Further information will be provided by your doctors and breast care nurse team and written information can be found in our patient information leaflets, Breast Cancer Care (BCC) or Macmillan.

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