Breast cancer is the growth of malignant tumors originating in breast tissue. A type of malignancy called invasive ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the milk ducts, is the most common type of breast cancer. Less frequently, however, breast cancers may begin in the lining of the lobules (milk-producing glands).
Breast cancer can be treated most effectively when it is detected early when tumors are small and have not yet begun to spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Patients with early-stage cancer may have a very good prognosis. Once the cancer has begun to spread, breast cancer cases can become much more serious or even life-threatening.
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