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Breast cancer develops when cells in the breast multiply abnormally and form masses of cells, called tumors. There are different types of breast cancer, as well as various treatments. This kind of cancer usually affects women over the age of 50, however it also can affect younger women and men. Treatment can involve medication, surgery or radiation.
Norton Cancer Institute is a leading provider of breast cancer care in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Our breast cancer specialists are board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists in their field. They’re at the forefront of developing innovative approaches to getting patients back to living their lives.
There are different kinds of cancer. It’s important to know what kind of cancer you have so your oncologist (on-COL’-uh-jist) can create a custom care plan for you. An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in cancer.
Earlier detection means catching cancer when it’s easier to treat. Early diagnosis of breast cancer often can mean better health outcomes for you. That’s why you should have regular breast health checkups with your doctor.
These are the most common types of breast cancer in the United States:
Less-common breast cancer types include:
There are subtypes of these cancers, which depend on what kind of hormone the cancer cell attracts or attaches to, such as the hormones progesterone or estrogen. Your doctors will do tests to see exactly what kind of caner you have so they can treat your disease most effectively.
Risk factors for breast cancer include family history of breast cancer, as well as several lifestyle choices. Treatment for breast cancer can include medication (such as chemotherapy), surgery, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and radiation.
The most common complication of breast cancer is metastatic (met-uh-STAT’-ik) breast cancer. This is when breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body — it can go anywhere in the body, but the most common areas are the bones, liver, lungs and brain. This is also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer. It is estimated that about 20% to 30% of people with early-stage breast cancer will develop Stage 4 or advanced breast cancer.
There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, although it can be treated in many of the same ways as breast cancer. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer includes managing your symptoms and controlling the cancer as much as possible. It is important to be open with your health care team about your goals, how you are feeling and your needs.
The American Cancer Society uses information provided by the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database to generate breast cancer survival statistics. SEER groups cancer by how far it has spread in the body — local, regional and distant — instead of numbered stages.
According to the SEER database
Survival rates for breast cancer vary based on:
A 2022 American Cancer Society report found that the death rate for breast cancer in the United States among women dropped 43% between 1989 when it peaked and 2020. During the last decade, death rates declined for women of all racial/ethnic groups across the U.S. except for American Indians/Alaska Natives, who had stable rates. However, Black women are still more likely to die from breast cancer than white women across the U.S. even though Black women have lower breast cancer incidence rates.
When you look at survival rates, try to remember that they’re just estimates based on large groups of people and combined data. A survival rate doesn’t indicate how long someone will live with metastatic breast cancer. Your health care providers will be the best resources for what you can expect as a breast cancer patient.
The American Cancer Society recommends breast cancer screenings begin at age 45, with the option to start at 40 if there is a reason such as family history of breast cancer. Breast cancer often has no symptoms, so it is key to go to your yearly checkups and get annual breast cancer screenings.
Throughout her treatment, Heather Kleisner felt the embrace of care, support and hope from everyone she encountered at Norton Cancer Institute.
At Norton Cancer Institute, our team of specialists works together to provide compassionate and comprehensive care for patients with breast cancer. We are committed to providing every patient with the best and most personalized treatment options available, as well as resources and support.
What else sets us apart as a comprehensive cancer center?
Norton Cancer Institute has a patient-centered approach that sees you as a whole person, not just a diagnosis. Our breast cancer specialists work with you to gather and evaluate all test results, health history and other information to be sure that we get a clear understanding of your cancer type and characteristics. Your breast cancer team develops a targeted treatment plan designed to maximize your long-term health while minimizing side effects.
More patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Cancer Institute than any other provider in the area. We provide compassionate care for the whole person, not just the cancer.
Our Norton Cancer Institute oncologists are also researchers and principal investigators, offering patients sophisticated experience in the latest treatments and access to more than 200 clinical trials.
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