Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. An estimated one in eight women (or 12%) will be affected in her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Survival rates continue to increase because of improved treatments and improved screening that finds cancers at earlier stages that make treatments more successful. With women being more educated about warning signs, the importance of self-exams, treatment options and getting second opinions, they are better equipped now to confront a breast cancer diagnosis.
We will post one fact about breast cancer every day in October:
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019 there will be approximately 271,270 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in both men and women and approximately 42,260 deaths.
The leading risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. Though breast cancer does occur in men, the disease is 100 times more common in women.
Men can also get breast cancer. In 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in the U.S
A woman has about a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Most women (about eight out of 10) who get breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
Thanks to new treatments and early detection, the five-year relative survival rate for women with breast cancer is about 90 percent.
Minimize alcohol intake to control risk. That means one glass of wine, one beer or one hard liquor drink per day. (Drinking seven drinks in one day and none the rest of the week is not OK.)
Women who have close blood relatives with breast cancer have a higher risk. Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer almost doubles a woman’s risk.
Talk with your physician to evaluate your personal risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society continues to recommend women should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screenings with mammograms at age 40.
About 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers can be traced to specific, inherited gene mutations, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.
Like other gene mutations, BRCA mutations are rare in the general population; fewer than 1 percent of the general population have a BRCA mutation.
On average, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and around 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70.
Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age, as well as developing cancer in both breasts.
There are over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, including women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.
While much progress has been made in breast cancer treatment and research, more work remains: Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after skin cancer. Overall, cancer deaths are the second most-common cause of death for U.S. women, after heart disease.