Routine care is the best way to keep you and your breasts healthy. Although detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages is the main goal of routine breast care, other benign conditions, such as fibrocystic breasts or cysts, are often discovered during routine care.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, when breast cancer is found early and is still localized (restricted to the site of origin, without evidence of spread), the relative survival rate, when measured at five years, is 98 percent. When breast cancer is found at a late stage (cancer that has spread to distant parts of the body), the survival rate at five years is 23 percent.
Although the incidence of breast cancer is beginning to decrease, one out of eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. Mortality rates have decreased over the past several years because of early detection and improved treatment.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, the most important thing for you to remember is that it is not a hopeless condition. Early detection and modern therapy with a combination of surgery, radiation, drugs, or hormones can help many patients.