Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in developed countries, and significant advances have been made in recent decades to improve the detection and diagnosis of this disease. These advances have also resulted in increasing recognition of noninvasive breast disease, including lesions that are thought to be preinvasive precursors to breast cancer. In addition, advances have been made in breast cancer therapy and in the recognition of markers that can help predict both the natural history of disease and, in many cases, responses to particular therapies. Thus, the role of the pathologist in the management of breast cancer is evolving beyond simple diagnosis to include providing predictive information that can enhance individualized care.
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