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About Breast Cancer > What is Breast Cancer?

The term cancer covers more than a hundred diseases that share one trait: the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that destroy healthy tissues and have the potential to spread outside its site of origin. When a malignant tumour originates in the breast, it is called breast cancer.

Breast cancer can invade nearby breast tissue, and spread to the underarm lymph nodes, and other sites of the body such as the lungs, bones, liver and brain. It can do harm to the function of the affected organs, or even the life of patient.

The survival rate of breast cancer is very high if it is detected at an early stage. Early detection can also save the burdensome medical costs and avoid extensive treatments including the unwanted physical and psychological impacts.

What causes breast cancer?

While we do not yet know what exactly causes breast cancer, we understand that certain risk factors are linked to the disease. A risk factor for breast cancer is something that affects your chance of getting the disease. According to the Breast Cancer Facts in Hong Kong Report No. 3 Report, the risk factors that 5,393 local breast cancer patients share are:

  • 72.5% lacked exercise( they had less than 3 hours of exercise each week)
  • 59.8% had no breast feeding
  • 35.2% were overweight or obese
  • 36.1 % were under high level of stress

We encourage women to perform regular breast screening. A breast screening programme should include self breast examination, clinical breast examination and mammography screening so as to be familiar with breast changes and detect breast cancer at early stage. Research findings have shown that mammographic screening can reduce mortality rate by 25-30 percent.  Click here to learn more about breast cancer screening.

Support for you

The Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation exists to support people diagnosed with breast cancer and their families at the time of their greatest need. We provide informational, emotional and financial support on the care and management of breast cancer through our support services.

Educational talks & resources

We give talks on breast health and produce educational resources.