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What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is when cells in your breast change and grow in an abnormal way. A group of these cancer cells can form a tumour.
Breast cancer is a common cancer in Ireland. More than 3,000 women and around 25 men are diagnosed with it each year.
What are the breasts and what do they do?
Your breasts are made up of different types of tissue including fat, connective tissue and gland tissue. The gland tissue is divided into milk lobes and milk ducts. During and after pregnancy, milk is made and stored by the lobes and carried to the nipple by the ducts.
Your breasts are rarely the same size as each other. They may feel different at different times of the menstrual cycle, sometimes becoming lumpy just before your period. Under your skin, a ‘tail’ of breast tissue extends into your armpit (axilla).
The armpits also contain a collection of lymph nodes (glands) that make up part of the lymphatic system.
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