What is breast cancer?

Find our more about the symptoms and signs of breast cancer, and where you can get support.

What is breast cancer?: 

Breast cancer is where cancerous cells grow in your breasts. It's the most common cancer for women but mainly occurs in those over 50, and it's very rare for young women to develop breast cancer.

48,000 women get breast cancer in the UK each year, with 8/10 being women over the age of 50, though younger women and men can still get breast cancer. 

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?: 

Even though you are unlikely to get breast cancer, being aware of changes in your breasts is important - though this isn't something you need to worry about too much while your breasts are still growing. 

Once you've stopped growing it is a good idea to get familiar with how your breasts usually look and feel so you can look out for changes. 

Breast Cancer Care gives more information about breast cancer, benign (non-cancerous) lumps, and how to examine yourself properly.

It’s important to catch cancer early, but don’t worry needlessly. Pop to your doctor and have anything unusual checked out - 9 times out of 10 it’s not cancer! 

Where can I find more information: 

Breast Cancer Care- Call Breast Cancer Care's helpline if you are worried. Phone 0808 800 6000 or use the textphone 0808 800 6001 (both: Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 2pm)

Cancer Support Scotland - Cancer Support Scotland aims to encourage and help young people affected by cancer to continue with normal family, social, student, and working life by providing support and recreation. Phone 0800 652 4531 or email 

Clic Sargent- Help sick children and young people, and their families, with cancer and leukemia. You can call their main office on 0300 330 0803 for more information about how they can support you.

Teenage Cancer Trust- This organisation works to support young people who have cancer and their families. They also raise awareness about teenage cancer through fundraising, education and research.