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Breast cancer - A to Z

The breastsBreast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK. Over 100 women are diagnosed with the cancer every day. Men also get breast cancer but it is rare. Of the 46,000 cases diagnosed each year in the UK, around 300 are in men. Thanks to a combination of screening and improved treatment, death rates from breast cancer have fallen by a third since the 1980s.

Breast cancer risk increases with age, and around four out of five women diagnosed with the disease are over 50 years old. Having a strong family history of breast cancer or a previous diagnosis of the disease increases the risk. Other well-established risk factors include having no or few children, having children later in life and not breast feeding. Obesity after the menopause, regularly drinking alcohol and taking HRT also increase the risk of breast cancer.

Cancer Research UK is one of the largest funders of breast cancer research in the UK, investigating all aspects of the disease, from prevention to treatment. Our scientists have led the world in finding many of the genetic variations that influence breast cancer risk.

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Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team
Updated: 17 September 2009