Breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.

Breasts are made of fat with connective and glandular tissue divided into lobes. A network of milk ducts spreads from the lobes to the nipple.

Breast cancer happens when these cells begin to grow abnormally and multiply quickly, forming a tumour. Both women and men can get breast cancer, but it’s rarer in men. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 8 for women and 1 in 631 for men.

Different types of breast cancer

Non-invasive means the cancer cells haven’t spread from their original location.

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – in DCIS, cancer cells are found within the milk ducts of the breast
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) – in LCIS, abnormal cells are found within breast lobules – but it’s not cancer. LCIS increases the risk of developing cancer, although most women with this condition won’t go on to develop breast cancer

‘Invasive’ means the cancer cells have spread to nearby tissue.

  • Early breast cancer – in early breast cancer, cancer cells have spread from the ducts or lobules into nearby breast tissue. The cancer may also have spread to lymph nodes in the armpit. The most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)
  • Locally advanced breast cancer – in locally advanced breast cancer, the cancer has spread to other areas nearby, such as the chest (including the skin, muscles and bones of the chest) and lymph nodes

Secondary, metastatic or advanced breast cancer means that the cancer cells have spread from the breast to other areas of the body, such as the bones, liver or lungs

One Stop Breast Clinic

Noticed a change in your breasts? Book an appointment at our One Stop Breast Clinics to identify if there is a problem.
Find out more

Anneliese's breast cancer journey at GenesisCare

Anneliese was diagnosed with breast cancer and was referred by her oncologist to GenesisCare. Anneliese talks about taking advantage of GenesisCare’s complimentary wellbeing services and why she would recommend GenesisCare to others.

Common symptoms of breast cancer

  1. Swelling in all or part of the breast

  2. Irritation or dimpling on the skin

  3. Pain in the breast or nipple

  4. Nipple turning inwards (retraction)

  5. Redness or scaliness


Search for a centre near you

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Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 353 3055


300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

01454 456500


Fordham Rd, Newmarket CB8 7XN, UK

+44 (0)1223 907 600


Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 987 901

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

0203 848 0900


Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

+44 (0)208 236 9040


BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX

+44 (0)1483 806 000


17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

+44 (0)1732 207 000

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

+44 (0)1908 467 700


The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

+44 (0)1158 077 400


Peters Way, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6LB

+44 (0)1865 237 700


Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

+44 (0)23 9248 4992


Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

+44 (0)381 277 900


69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

+44 (0)1753 418 444