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Breast Cancer - Know the Facts
  • About 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2012 and 39,510 women will die. 63,300 new cases of carcinoma in situ (earliest form of breast cancer) will be diagnosed in 2012.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American women, second to lung cancer.
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
  • About 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in men in 2011. For every 100 women diagnosed with breast cancer, one man is diagnosed with the disease.
  • A woman's risk doubles if she has a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. About 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers.
  • About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common.
  • The incidence of breast cancer is highest in white women, but African Americans have higher mortality rates than women of other racial or ethnic groups.
  • 12.2% of women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives.

What is Your Risk? Exploring Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Non-Modifiable risk factors
The most significant risk factors for developing breast cancers are being a woman and getting older. One in eight women will develop breast cancer over their lifetime (assuming she lives until the age of 80yo)

  • Women in their 30s - 1 in 233
  • Women in their 40s - 1 in 69
  • Women in their 50s - 1 in 38
  • Women in their 60s - 1 in 27

Other non-modifiable risk factors

  • Genetic Risk Factors
  • Older age of giving birth or never having children
  • Late menopause
  • A personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Treatment with radiation to the chest
  • Earlier Abnormal Breast Biopsy
  • Race

Modifiable risk factors

  • Diet - Alcohol consumption
  • Exercise - Maintaining a Healthy Weight

The Best Defense is An Early Offense

  • Maintain a Healthy diet: low fat diets; increased folic acid intake
  • Limit Alcohol: less than one drink per day
  • Exercise Regularly: 30 minutes at least 5 days per week
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Body Mass Index less than 25
  • Know your Family and your own health history

ABC's of Early detection

Annual Mammograms
Start at 40 unless you have a family history of a first degree relative
Mammograms can detect about 85% of all breast cancers

Breast Awareness
Report any changes noted to your healthcare provider right away
Normal nodularity vs. unusual changes: Keep a record of your normal pattern for your breasts.

Clinical Breast Exams

  • Every 3 years while in your 20s-30s
  • Every year over 40 years of age

Self-Breast Exams

  • Perform monthly and develop a routine
  • Perform lying down and standing in front of a mirror
  • Report any changes right away

National Cancer Institute, October 2011
www.breastcancer.org, March 2012

Last Updated: 7/16/2013