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, spread to the underarm lymph nodes and to other sites of the body such as the lungs, bones, liver and brain. It can harm the function of the affected organs and, potentially, the life of the patient.

The survival rate of breast cancer is very high if it is detected at an early stage. Early detection can also save burdensome medical costs and reduce the need for extensive treatment(s) and the associated negative 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 Hong Kong Breast Cancer Registry Report No.9, the risk factors that 14,905 local breast cancer patients share are:

  • 77.7% lacked exercise( they had less than 3 hours of exercise each week)
  • 65.8% had no breastfeeding
  • 38.6% were overweight or obese
  • 37.1% were under high level of stress (>50% of time)


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 mammography screening can reduce the mortality rate by 25-30 percent.  Click here to learn more about breast cancer screening.


Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer


Breast Cancer Staging

 Special thanks to Dr. Kwan Wing Hong

Surgical Treatment


Special thanks to:

Dr. Sharon Chan Wing-Wai

Clinical Director, Kowloon East Cluster Breast Centre, United Christian Hospital

Dr. Miranda Chan

Chief of Service, Department of Surgery, Kwong Wah Hospital

Dr. Kenneth Hui

Specialist in Plastic Surgery


Special thanks to Dr. Lawrence Li for editing

Radiation Treatment

Special thanks to Dr. Peter Choi for editing

Targeted Therapy

Special thanks to Dr. Kwan Wing Hong and Dr. Lawrence Li Pui Ki for editing

Hormonal Therapy

Special thanks to Dr. Diana Siu for editing