Health Information

Breast Health

  • Anatomy of the Breasts

    Each breast has 15 to 20 sections (lobes), which are arranged like the petals of a daisy. Each lobe has many smaller lobules, which end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk.

  • Common Breast Conditions

    Detailed information on the most common breast conditions, including mastalgia (breast pain), benign breast lumps, fibrocystic breast changes, nipple problems, nipple discharge, breast infections, and breast inflammation

  • Breast Self-Awareness

    Your breasts change at different stages of your life. Breast self-awareness is knowing how your breasts normally look and feel. This can help you to find even small changes right away.

  • About Clinical Trials: Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Clinical trials are studies, managed by government agencies, educational institutions, private not-for-profit organizations, or commercial businesses. They develop and evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments and therapies for diseases.

  • Diagnosing Benign (Noncancerous) Breast Conditions

    To diagnose a breast condition, your healthcare provider will examine your breasts and may order imaging tests or a biopsy.

  • Breast Cancer: Diagnosis

    It is important to remember that a lump or other changes in the breast, or an abnormal area on a mammogram, may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious problems.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Mammograms

    Timing your mammogram when your breasts are not tender is important. In premenopausal women, this is usually 1 week after a menstrual period.

  • Breast Cancer: Hormone Therapy

    For some types of breast cancer, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can also cause breast cancer cells to grow. In these cases, hormone therapy is used to help prevent the growth, spread, and recurrence of breast cancer.

  • Home Page - Breast Health

    Detailed information on breast health, anatomy of the breast, breast development, breast cancer prevention, common breast conditions, and breast cancer in males and females

  • Breast Infections and Inflammations

    The most common type of breast infection is lactational mastitis. This happens when a woman is breastfeeding. The nipples become cracked and sore, allowing bacteria from the baby's mouth to enter the ducts and rapidly multiply in the milk.

  • Common Benign Lumps

    The two most common types of benign breast lumps are cysts and fibroadenomas. A cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops in the breast tissue. Fibroadenomas are solid, smooth, firm, benign lumps that are most commonly found in women in their late teens and early 20s.

  • Breast Cancer: Lymphedema After Treatment

    Whenever the normal drainage pattern in the lymph nodes is disturbed or damaged—often during surgery to remove the lymph nodes—the arm may swell. This swelling, caused by too much fluid, is called lymphedema.

  • Mammograms and Breast Health

    Detailed information on mammograms, including the different types, how a mammogram is done, and recommended screening guidelines

  • About Breast Cancer in Men

    Breast cancer in men is rare—less than 1% of all breast cancer occurs in men.

  • Normal Breast Development and Changes

    Breast development happens in distinct stages, first before birth, and again at puberty and during the childbearing years. Changes also happen to the breasts during menstruation and when a woman reaches menopause.

  • Online Resources - Breast Health

    List of online resources to find additional information on breast health, including breast cancer

  • Mastalgia (Breast Pain)

    The most common type of breast pain is associated with the menstrual cycle and is nearly always hormonal.

  • Post-Mastectomy

    Detailed information for women following a mastectomy, including breast reconstruction, lymphedema prevention, and breast prosthesis

  • Nipple Problems and Discharge

    Nipple conditions are a common benign breast condition affecting many women. Some problems are related to lactation, and others are not.

  • Breast Cancer: Radiation Therapy
  • Breast Cancer: Risk Factors
  • Topic Index - Breast Health

    Detailed information on breast health, anatomy of the breast, breast development, breast cancer prevention, common breast conditions, and breast cancer in males and females

  • Surgery for Breast Cancer Treatment

    Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible is the primary treatment for breast cancer. Today, women have many surgical options and choices.

  • Breast Health: Preventive Care

    To monitor your breast health, you should get a year clinical exam and mammograms as directed by your doctor.

  • Treatments for Breast Cancer

    Detailed information on breast cancer treatment, including surgery, breast reconstruction, lymphedema, breast prosthesis, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, Tamoxifen, and Taxol

  • Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome

    People with this syndrome have dark moles around the mouth, nose, and eyes, as well as multiple polyps in the intestines.

  • Breast Cancer Overview

    Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women in the U.S. Once breast cancer occurs, cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body, making it life-threatening. The good news is that breast cancer is often found early, before it has spread.

  • Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T)

    A-T is a rare childhood disease that affects the nervous system and other body systems.

  • Fibrocystic Breast Changes

    Fibrocystic breast changes are symptoms you may feel in your breasts right before your period. Learn what these common symptoms feel like, what causes them--and how to care for your breasts with breast self-awareness.