Breast Cancer

  • Malignant Tumor

    Malignant Tumor

    Colored enhancement of an x-ray of the left breast of a woman with a malignant tumor (black area), which is located in the upper right portion of this image.

  • Breast Cancer Cell

    Breast Cancer Cell

    3-D image of a breast cancer cell with a scanning electron microscope. This type of image depicts the mapping of binding sites on the cell surface.

  • Colloid Carcinoma (Adenocarcinoma)

    Colloid Carcinoma (Adenocarcinoma)

    Colored mammogram showing a malignant breast tumor (orange area) above the nipple. The tumor is a colloid carcinoma (adenocarcinoma) that grew from the epithelial lining of the mammary lobules.

  • Cancerous Tumor

    Cancerous Tumor

    Colored mammogram highlighting a cancerous tumor (bright green area) near the center of the breast.

  • Malignant Tumor

    Malignant Tumor

    Colored 3-D MRI scan showing a malignant tumor (blue dot area) in the right breast near the nipple.

  • Histology


    Breast cancer histology slide—cancer cells are depicted in black, and the pink areas are the normal connective tissue.

  • Deep Ulcer

    Deep Ulcer

    Colored CT scan of a horizontal section of the chest highlighting cancer in the left breast (red area). The cancer has spread to the external skin and formed a deep ulcer (black “cut in” of the red area).

  • Centrally Necrotizing Carcinoma

    Centrally Necrotizing Carcinoma

    Colored MRI scan highlighting numerous malignant tumors (green areas) of the left breast with a diagnosis of centrally necrotizing carcinoma.

  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer

    Inflammatory Breast Cancer

    Inflammatory breast cancer presents with an inverted nipple, along with puckered, raised, inflamed skin.

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Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the U.S. besides skin cancer. About 1 in 8 U.S. women (approximately 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. The good news is that since 2003, the incidence of breast cancer has remained stable.

Unfortunately, however, it is estimated that among U.S. women in 2012, there will be 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,300 new cases of non-invasive in situ breast cancer (includes ductal carcinoma in situ [DCIS] and lobular carcinoma in situ [LCIS]). Overall, 39,510 breast cancer deaths are predicted.

As mammography screening rates have increased, more cases of breast cancer have been found at earlier stages, when they are most easily and successfully treated. During the 1980s and 1990s, diagnoses of early-stage breast cancer, including DCIS, and conditions such as LCIS increased greatly. These rates have remained steady since the late 1990s. At the same time, diagnoses of advanced stage breast cancer have remained constant or declined to some extent.

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