Breast Cancer Awareness: Top 5 Things You Need to Know

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s look beyond the pink ribbons to learn about risk factors, protection, research – and saving lives. Here are the basics on breast cancer:

1. Gender is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer. There will be about 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in American women this year.
2. The breast is the most common site of cancer in women; breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women.
3. Mammograms save lives. Mammograms show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.
Mammograms can also prevent the need for extensive treatment for advanced cancers and improve chances of breast conservation. Current guidelines from the American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society, and the Society for Breast Imaging recommend that women receive annual mammograms starting at age 40 — even if they have no symptoms or family history of breast cancer.
4. Breast cancer survival depends on the stage of disease. There are four stages. The best survival is observed in women with early-stage disease.
5. The annual risk of a 70-year-old woman being diagnosed with breast cancer is three times that of a 40-year-old woman.

Learn how to protect against breast cancer in next Friday’s blog. In the meantime, share your questions and concerns about breast cancer in the comments.

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