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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 3,600 women and around 37 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.
We use the term ‘woman / women’ in our breast cancer information but we understand that not everyone who may need this information identifies as a woman. Although it is rare, men can get breast cancer too.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, we are here for you. For confidential advice, information and support, contact our Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700.
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