Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 1, 2015 — Leave a comment

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October is the month dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness.  Soon, pink will be popping up everywhere, as people don everything from pink hats to gloves to boots, etc. in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.  In the interest of raising awareness, here are 31 facts about breast cancer, one for every day of the month of October.  We encourage you to read up!

  1. In the United States, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and more than 40,000 die from it.
  2. One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  3. Although not common, men can also get breast cancer. Less than 1% of cases occur in men.
  4. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
  5. There are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States – the largest group of cancer survivors.
  6. A woman’s risk of breast cancer doubles if she has a mother, sister or daughter who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  7. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member who has been diagnosed with it.
  8. About 5-10% of breast cancers are thought to be caused by inherited gene mutations (abnormal changes passed through families).
  9. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and growing older.
  10. White women have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women, but it is more common among African-American women under the age of 45.
  11. African-American women are more likely to die at any age from breast cancer than other races.
  12. Women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% chance of developing breast cancer before the age of 70, often younger. Women with a BRCA2 mutation have a 45% risk.
  13. Early menstruation (before age 12) or late menopause (after age 55) can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  14. Having your first child at an older age, or never having given birth can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  15. Breast cancer accounts for 29% of newly diagnosed cancers.
  16. The risk of overweight women developing breast cancer after menopause is 1.5 times higher than in lean women. Obese women are at twice the risk of lean women.
  17. Only about 42% of women who undergo mastectomy choose to have reconstructive surgery.
  18. Eight out of ten breast lumps are discovered by women themselves. Becoming more familiar with your breast tissue and appearance will help you to notice changes that could occur.
  19. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re up to four times more likely to develop a new cancer in the same breast or in the other breast.
  20. Breast cancer can begin in different areas of the breast – the ducts, the lobules, or in some cases, the tissue in between.
  21. Triple Negative Breast Cancer – a type of breast cancer that is more likely to affect younger people, African-Americans and Hispanics – is a cancer in which the three most common types of receptors known to fuel breast cancer growth are not present in the cancer tumor. Those three receptors are estrogen, progesterone and the HER-2 gene.
  22. Triple negative breast cancer can be more aggressive and difficult to treat than other forms of breast cancer. It is also more likely to spread and recur.
  23. Breast cancer survivors are at an increased risk of osteoporosis, because reduced estrogen levels can trigger bone loss.
  24. Exercise reduces breast cancer risk for women of all body types.
  25. The American Cancer Society recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week to manage risk of breast cancer.
  26. Research suggests breastfeeding for a year or more slightly reduces the overall risk of breast cancer – about a 4.3% reduction.
  27. Women of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage are at a higher risk of having BRCA mutations.
  28. In the 1970s, the lifetime risk of breast cancer was one in 11. Today it is one in eight.  This is due to longer life expectancy, more detection through screening, menopausal hormone usage, changes in reproductive patterns and increased prevalence of obesity.
  29. Breast cancer deaths have been declining since 1990 due to better screenings, increased awareness and new treatments.
  30. Mammograms help reduce the number of deaths by 30-40% among women ages 40-70 due to early detection.
  31. National Mammography Day is October 16 in the United States. Get checked!

This October, wear pink, raise awareness and get checked!

** Facts courtesy of City of Hope, dosomething.org, breastcancer.org, Centers for Disease Control, American Cancer Society, nationalbreastcancer.org.

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