Quest for a Cure

What do I need to know about breast cancer?

1 Being a woman is the greatest risk factor for getting breast cancer.

2 Early detection is your best protection! Mammograms are the best available method to find breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.

3 Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for nearly one in three cancers diagnosed in U.S. women.

4 The classic symptom for breast cancer is a lump found in the breast or armpit. An aggressive type of this disease, inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), grows in sheets of tumor cells that invade the skin and resembles a rash. Doing your monthly breast self-exam (BSE) is a great way to be familiar with your breasts’ texture, cyclical changes, size, and skin condition. Early detection is the best way to protect your health and improve your odds of survival.

5 Because of early detection and improved treatment, deaths from breast cancer have steadily decreased since 1990.

6 The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age.

7 There is hope! When breast cancer is found at its earliest, most treatable stage, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

8 Although breast cancer is more common in women over age 40, younger women can also get breast cancer.

9 The following lifestyle changes can possibly lower your chance of getting cancer. They can also improve your overall health, lowering your chance of getting other chronic diseases.

  • Exercising often
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • Not drinking alcohol or limiting alcohol use (less than one drink per day for women).
  • Not smoking

10 The most important message to take from this? GET YOUR MAMMOGRAM!

Sources: American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures and National Institutes of Health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.