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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Breast Cancer - Early-Stage


, Version 1.2016


Breast cancer basics



• Inside of women’s breasts are lobules, ducts,

and stroma. Lobules are structures that make

breast milk. Ducts carry breast milk from the

lobules to the nipple. Stroma is a soft tissue

that surrounds the lobules and ducts.

• Breast cancer often starts in the lobules or

ducts and then grows into the stroma.

• Breast cancer can spread outside the breast

to vital organs through lymph or blood.

• Breast cancer that is stage I or II has grown

into the stroma but not into the breast skin or

chest wall. It has not spread to distant sites.

• Clinical trials are the treatment option that is

preferred by NCCN experts. Other options

involve surgery, chemotherapy, HER2

inhibitors, radiation therapy, endocrine

therapy, follow-up care, and recurrence

treatment. Parts 2 through 8 present what

your options may be.