Mammography uses low intensity x-rays to detect tumors in the soft tissues of the breast. this procedure detects tumors less than 1 cm that are too small to be detected by self-examination.
if a tumor is detected ,a biopsy is performed to determine whether it is malignant or benign. fortunately, most tumors of the mammary glands are benign.
however, those that are malignant can spread to other parts of the body and eventually lead to death. yet early detection of breast cancer can lead to effective treatment and survival.
What is the difference between benign and malignant lumps/tumors?
Breast lumps or tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A benign tumor can be removed and in most cases will not come back. A malignant tumor, on the other hand, is a collection of cells which grow and can affect nearby tissues or can break away and travel to distant parts of the body. It is important to note that most breast lumps or tumors are not cancerous.What causes breast cancer?
Only five to ten percent of breast cancers are hereditary; this is, they are caused by a faulty gene that has been passed down from generation to generation. The vast majority of breast cancers are caused by something else - we are still not positive on a specific cause for the disease. There are many risk factors linked to breast cancer, some that are controllable and some that are not. We ask that you think critically about the ones you can control and do not stress about the ones you cannot.