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If you have breast cancer, you need more than just medical care. You need support and encouragement from health care professionals who understand your fears – and will help you overcome them. Mercy provides seamless breast cancer care in a compassionate environment, helping you on your journey to treatment and healing.
Breast cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of breast cells. It can take several forms, and knowing the type of breast cancer you have helps Mercy doctors provide the most effective treatments.
Less than 1% of breast cancer cases occur in men. Male breast cancer most often affects men between ages 60-70. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of male breast cancer while less-common types include ductal carcinoma in situ, inflammatory breast cancer and Paget’s disease of the nipple—rare cancer in the skin of the nipple and areola.
Breast cancer is caused by the damaged of normal breast cells resulting in abnormal cell growth. Some DNA changes are inherited or passed on to you by your parents. But many of the DNA changes linked to breast cancer are acquired, meaning they take place during your life over time. Certain risk factors, such as gender, age and genetics, are strongly linked to breast cancer and women who have them are at higher risk to develop breast cancer.
Women are 100 times more likely than men to develop breast cancer. Men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer, but it’s rare. Your risk also increases with age, and breast cancer is more common in women over age 50.
If a close relative had breast, uterine, ovarian or colon cancer, your risk may be increased. Share any family history of cancer with your Mercy doctor. Having certain genes also increases your risk. The two genes most linked to breast cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2. If you test positive for these genes, you’ll need to be screened for breast cancer more often and at a younger age.
Women who get their periods at an early age (before age 12) or enter menopause late (after age 55) have an increased breast cancer risk.
Women whose breasts have more fibrous than fatty tissue are more prone to breast cancer. And dense breasts can make it hard to see cancer on mammograms.
Drinking alcohol, being overweight or physically inactive, never having children and using hormone therapy after menopause also affects your breast cancer risk.
Breast cancer affects people differently, and some don’t experience symptoms. Younger women may ignore breast cancer symptoms, believing they’re too young to get breast cancer. Unfortunately, this delays diagnosis and can lead to poorer outcomes. All women should be aware of the warning signs associated with breast cancer. Signs and symptoms can include:
If you’re experiencing symptoms of breast cancer, it can be overwhelming. Mercy is here to help with everything from diagnosis to treatment.
Learn about breast cancer diagnosis and treatment options.
At Mercy, we offer comprehensive testing services to diagnose all types of breast cancer, including:
At Mercy, we offer compassionate care for a variety of treatment services for breast cancer, including: