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About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer happens when groups of cells clump together in breast tissue.

These clumps of cells are called tumors. Early breast cancer tumors can be hard to notice or feel.

Getting a mammogram is the most common way to check for breast cancer. A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breasts. Mammograms can find most breast cancers, about 8 in 10.

A mammogram can find signs of cancer before you feel a lump. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances that treatment will work. If breast cancer is not treated, it can spread to other parts of your body. It's much harder to treat breast cancer after it spreads.


The information on this page was compiled by the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality from a variety of sources, including (but not limited to) U.S. Preventive Task Force, American Cancer Society, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National Breast Cancer Foundation, National Cancer Institute, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Mayo Clinic. This information summarizes core care elements appropriate to most adult women. This information should not be construed as representing standards of care nor as a substitute for individualized evaluation and treatment on clinical circumstances by a qualified health care professional. Please see our disclaimer.

For more information about this complex health issue, please see the Breast Cancer Links page for resources and sources of information.

An initiative of the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with additional funding provided by HealthInsight New Mexico