Breast Cancer - The Facts
Our body is built from millions of building blocks called cells. Each part of our body has its own kind of cells. Normally our cells only grow or replace themselves when they need to. Cancer happens when something goes wrong with one of our cells and it begins to grow out of control. The faulty cells grow into a small lump called a ‘tumour’.
There are two kinds of tumours. Some tumours’ are ‘benign’, depending on where they are growing, benign tumours do not usually cause harm. The second type is called ‘malignant’. The cells that make up malignant tumours can spread or move to other parts of the body. Doctors call malignant tumours ‘cancer’.
Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in Northern Ireland with at least 1 in 8 people being diagnosed with the disease.
One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their life time.
The disease tends to affect older women but is becoming more common in women under 40.
There are over 900 new patients diagnosed every year.
Early detection could save your life.
Breast cancer that runs in families is known as a hereditary condition which is caused by a faulty gene, a family history of breast cancer only accounts for 5% of all cases.
Having breast cancer at a young age may mean you have to make decisions in your life sooner than you expected. Young women with oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer will be given treatment that may affect your future fertility. For young women in some cases, they may be given treatment that will bring on early menopause which could be short term while going through treatment or long term if the cancer is advanced to prevent the cancer returning and prolong life expectancy.
Some breast cancer treatments can cause infertility.
Some breast cancer treatments can cause osteoporosis.