“ …Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Fast Facts About Breast Cancer
- Each year in the United States, more than 245,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among America women.
- Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.
How Can I Prevent Breast Cancer?
Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Recommendation: age 50 and every 2 years until age 70. If family history, discuss with your doctor.
- Perform monthly breast self-exams: practice monthly breast self-examination. Instructions for breast self-examination can be found at the American Cancer Society Web site by typing "How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam." Talk to your daughters about monthly self-exam.
What Are the Symptoms? Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can notice symptoms. These could include changes found during a breast self-exam. You should report any changes that you notice to your doctor or health care provider
There are different symptoms of breast cancer, and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include:
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood).
- A new lump in the breast or underarm.
- Being older, most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older. However, 10% are found in younger women.
- Family History - If you've had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. If two first-degree relatives have been diagnosed, your risk is 5 times higher than average.
- Having changes in your BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The genes most commonly affected in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are the breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer 2 (BRCA2) genes. About 3% of breast cancers (about 6,000 women per year) and 10% of ovarian cancers (about 2,000 women per year) result from inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes