Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.1
About 1.67 million new cases are diagnosed worldwide, and over 500,000 women die of the disease each year.1 This means that one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer somewhere in the world every 20 seconds and more than three women die of breast cancer every five minutes worldwide.1
Contrary to common belief, breast cancer is not just one disease
There are several types of breast cancer, which can be classified based on the proteins (known as receptors) that coat the surface of the cancer cells. These proteins play an important role in tumour development, by signalling cells to grow and divide.
Knowing the type of breast cancer a patient has helps determine the most effective treatment approach and the likely course of the illness
Each type of breast cancer is identified by the presence or absence of three receptors found on the surface of cells: the oestrogen receptor (ER), the progesterone receptor (PR) and the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2).2 When diagnosed, people can be confirmed as being positive or negative for more than one of these receptors.