What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the breast tissue. Find out about who gets breast cancer and where it starts.

Symptoms of breast cancer

Symptoms of breast cancer include a lump or thickening in the breast. Find out more about this and other possible symptoms and when you should see your GP.

Getting diagnosed with breast cancer

You usually start by seeing your GP. Or you may have had changes picked up through breast screening. Find out about being referred to a breast clinic and the tests you might have.


Survival is generally very good for breast cancer and is continuing to improve.

Treatment for breast cancer

Find out about breast cancer treatments, where and how you have them, and how to cope with possible side effects.

Stages and grades of breast cancer

Get information about how doctors stage and grade breast cancer. In the UK, doctors use the TNM system to stage breast cancer. You may also be told about the number staging system.

Types of breast cancer and related breast conditions

There are different types of breast cancer and breast conditions, including breast cancer in men, and conditions related to breast cancer. Find out more about the different types.

Secondary breast cancer

Secondary breast cancer means that a cancer that began in the breast has spread to another part of the body.

Research and clinical trials

Find out about the latest UK breast cancer research and clinical trials, and how you can take part.

Living with breast cancer

See what you can do to cope with breast cancer and treatment, and the effect it has on your life and relationships.

Risks and causes of breast cancer

Read about the factors that can increase or reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. 

Resources and support

Find out about organisations and resources to help you cope, and there is information about suppliers of prosthesises and bras.

Last reviewed: 
18 Apr 2023
Next review due: 
18 Apr 2026
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer