What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when breast cells become abnormal and divide
without control or order. Breast cancer is the most common form
of cancer among women in the United States.
What is a tumor?
A mass or lump of extra tissue is called a tumor. It can be either
benign or malignant. Benign tumors are not cancerous. Malignant
tumors are cancerous.
Is breast cancer common in teens?
Breast cancer does not often occur in teens. However, it is important
to take care of your body now. Knowledge of family history is
What are the symptoms of breast cancer? How will I know if I have
Warning signs include a lump, thickening or swelling, change of
shape or size, appearance of breast dimples, or discharge from
If I had a lump in my breast does this mean that I have breast
Only 20% of lumps are found to be cancerous. It is normal for
your breasts to feel slightly lumpy or uneven. It is important
to conduct self-examinations so that you know what your healthy
breast feels like and what may be irregular for you.
Is there a cure for breast cancer?
While there is still no known cure for breast cancer, there are
several treatment options. Methods of treatment include surgery,
radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy.
What are the known risk factors?
Some possible risk factors cannot be changed; for example, increasing
age, family history and early onset of menstruation. Other possible
risk factors can be controlled, like lack of exercise, obesity,
excessive dietary fat, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
If my family has a history of breast cancer should I be concerned?
Family history of breast cancer is a known risk factor. However,
all women are at risk for developing breast cancer. Over 70% of
breast cancer occurs in women who have no known risk factors.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, ask your doctor
about a program of breast health care.
Does incidence of breast cancer relate to breast size?
Large breast size does not increase the risk of breast cancer.
If I injure my breast will I be more likely to get breast cancer?
Breast cancer is not caused by bumping, bruising or touching the
breast. However, if your breast does not heal you should see your
What is a mammography? Does it hurt?
Mammography involves the use of x-rays to create a picture of
the breast. A mammogram is slightly uncomfortable, but at present,
it is the best diagnostic tool that we have.
When should I go for my first mammogram?
Although you should discuss your medical history with your physician,
it is generally recommended that women should go for a baseline
mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40, and every year starting
at age 40.
Are there preventative measures that I can take to reduce the
risk of breast cancer?
Exercise and a healthy diet are believed to reduce the risk of
breast cancer. Annual clinical breast exams are recommended. Ask
your doctor or nurse about information on how to perform monthly
breast self exams.
What if I have other questions?
Call: The Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline &
Support Program. The hotline has a teen
education video available. Teens Talk About Breast Cancer.
The video is packed with information and can answer questions
not covered in this publication. To obtain a copy of this video
call the Hotline.
services are free and confidential.