Expand your knowledge on a common cancer by reading our guide on the facts about breast cancer you need to know.
When dealing with breast cancer, awareness is half the battle in prevention, so here are our facts about breast cancer you need to know.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women, accounting for nearly 25% of all cases. The cancer develops in the breast tissue and results in lumps, a change in the breast shape, fluid being discharged from the nipples or scaly patches of skin.
Surveys show that women’s number one health fear is developing breast cancer.
There has been a great amount of advancement with how breast cancer is treated. The survival rate for the disease is high in developed countries, with 80% of those getting the disease surviving for more than 5 years. The survival rate is lower in developing countries.
Due to technological advancement, deaths from breast cancer have dropped by 40% in the last 20 years. This has a lot to do with better understanding of the disease as well. Here are a few facts about breast cancer you need to know so that you too can be equipped to deal with the disease effectively.
Men can also get breast cancer and according to studies 1 in 1000 are at risk of getting the disease. Although this number is considerably lower than it is for women, men do not expect that there is a possibility that they might have breast cancer which is why they don’t take action until later stages of the disease. However cancer does not discriminate, and one of the breast cancer facts about men highlights that in 2350 cases of breast cancer being diagnosed, 440 men will die from it.
A lump in your breast doesn’t always mean that you have breast cancer. Although a common indicator of breast cancer is a lump in your breast, most times that lump can be many different things. Benign tumors, cysts and fibrosis all result in lumps and they are quite harmless and can be treated easily. Some women just have breasts that are prone to lumps. If you feel a bump that should not be there, get it checked out but there is no need to panic unnecessarily.
The chances of you getting breast cancer doubles if you have a first-degree relative that had the disease, however, in case you don’t that does not mean that you are completely safe. One of the facts about breast cancer you need to know is that 85% of women who get the disease do not have a family history of breast cancer. Check for signs and symptoms of the illness regularly, get a breast exam and every once in awhile opt for a mammogram, especially if you are over 40. You can never be too careful.
There are several different types of breast cancer and it can be diagnosed at different stages and require different types of treatment.
Primary breast cancer means that the cancer hasn’t spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes, while secondary breast cancer, also known as metastatic breast cancer or breast cancer metastasis, refers to the spread of cancer to different parts of the body such as the liver, lungs or brain.
Metastatic breast cancer is the fatal form of breast cancer and once you experience breast cancer metastasis you will be on life long treatment to control it, however this has not stopped some people have long and productive lives.
There are ways in which the risk for breast cancer can be reduced. Unfortunately there is no sure-shot way to avoid breast cancer altogether but this is the next best thing. Exercise regularly. Overweight and obese women are found to be more at risk to get breast cancer. Also, limit your alcohol consumption. Women that drink more than two glasses of alcohol have a greater chance of contracting the disease. There are a few other things that you could be mindful of as well, such as do not get hormone therapy during menopause as the combination of estrogen and progestin has also been linked to an elevated risk of breast cancer.
Other facts about breast cancer you need to know, is that although mammograms are very effective at detecting breast cancer, they are not completely 100% accurate. The accuracy of a mammogram actually has a lot to do with certain factors such as age. Mammograms work best for women that are 80 or older. For younger women the accuracy is about 78 per cent so they are not a truly reliable breast cancer test. Not only can mammograms sometimes miss cancer completely, but they have also been known to give false-positive results at times. In such cases a biopsy is required to confirm the presence of cancer. Make sure to speak to your doctor about whether it is advisable to get a mammogram regularly for an accurate assessment of your health.
Just because it hurts does not mean that you have breast cancer. Pain is actually not a common symptom of breast cancer, but it could be indicative of other issues. Most of the time, pain in your breasts is caused by hormonal changes and during the menstrual cycle so there’s little reason to be alarmed. However, pain is the body’s alert system for when it requires attention so make sure that if the problem persists you make a visit to your physician, as although it may be nothing, you might need a breast cancer test.
An oft-repeated statistic is that 1 out of 8 women are at risk of getting breast cancer. That’s a pretty scary figure, and it’s also one of many misleading breast cancer facts. Not everyone is at risk uniformly because breast has a lot to do with other factors such as ethnic background, age, and weight. The true facts about breast cancer you need to know, are that the older and more overweight you are, the greater your chances to develop breast cancer. Also, white non-hispanic women are the ethnic group most at risk, whereas studies show that Korean women are least likely to get this disease.
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