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Breast cancer

Breast cancer is cancer in the breast.

In the world, breast cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death. The first four are lung cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, and colon cancer. In 2005, breast cancer caused 502,000 deaths (7% of cancer deaths; almost 1% of all deaths) in the world.[1] Among all women in the world, breast cancer is the most common cancer.[1]

In the United States, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and the second most common cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer). In 2007, breast cancer caused about 40,910 deaths (7% of cancer deaths; almost 2% of all deaths) in the U.S.[2][3] Women in the United States have a 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer in their lives. They have a 1 in 33 chance of death from breast cancer.[3]

There are many more people getting breast cancer since the 1970s. This is because of how people in the Western world live.[4][5] Because the breast is composed of identical tissues in males and females, breast cancer also occurs in males, though it is less common.[6]

When a person gets breast cancer, they can try to cure it in three ways. Doctors can cut out the cancer (mastectomy or lumpectomy). They can give the person drugs (chemotherapy). They can also try to kill the cancer with energy (radiation). If one cure does not work, they may need to try another.