The breast has been an object that has fascinated people throughout history. It is the symbol of beauty, femininity and above all fertility. It is because of this that breast cancer is such a poignant disease. In my telling of the history of breast cancer I will discuss not just the western story but also take a look at how other cultures and civilizations thought of and treated this disease. I will start in antiquity with the works of Galen and Hippocrates as well as looking at the papyri scrolls from ancient Egypt predating Ptolemaic times. I will then move on to the Middle Ages and contrast the forms of treatment between Europe and Islamic Empire where science and medicine thrived. From there I will look at how surgery evolved in the west and how because of this treatment for breast cancer once again changed in the nineteenth century with Halstad’s radical mastectomy. This will then lead into the discussions of the monumental discoveries, challenges and changes that occurred in the 20th century such as the introduction of new treatment techniques, chemotherapy and radiation, and Nixon’s “War on Cancer.” I will end with the advancements we have made so far in the 21st century and what the future could possibly hold. It is important to know the history of breast cancer because the only way we can successfully treat it is if we understand the successes and failures of our predecessors.