An average of 53 Australians are diagnosed with breast cancer each day, making this a very common disease. But thankfully, Australia has one of the highest breast cancer survival rates in the world.
Breast cancer is caused by an erratic and uncontrolled growth of cells in the breast, leading to a tumour. Usually breast cancer begins in either the lobules of the breast, (the glands where milk is created) or the ducts (the passages where the milk is drained.) Less commonly, cancer can start in the tissue around the ducts and glands.
Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality, or an error in the genetic instructions. The mistake can be an inherited mistake, passed down from generation to generation, but these types of mistakes only account for about 15 per cent of breast cancers. Usually the mutations are random.
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