Facts About Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Facts

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in October 2018. Support your friends and family this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and all year round, by sharing your knowledge of breast cancer facts, the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and the steps they can take to stay healthy. Early detection saves lives. For more breast cancer information, explore Positive Promotions’ collection of educational resources.

Breast Cancer Facts

  • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • A quarter of a million women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer every year – that is one woman every 2 minutes.
  • Each year over 40,000 women will die of breast cancer – that is 1 woman every 13 minutes.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women.
  • Approximately 2,500 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
  • 3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.
  • Breast cancer affects women in all countries of the world.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  • A lump or mass in the breast tissue – these can be tender or painless, rounded or irregular. Any new breast mass should be evaluated by a health care professional.
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Swelling of any part of the breast – tissue growth may affect the size and shape of the breast without a noticeable lump. Talk to your doctor about any changes in the size or shape of your breasts.
  • Redness, peeling, or flaking skin on the breast or nipple
  • Change in breast color
  • Thickening of the nipple or an inverted, flattened, or indented nipple
  • Discharge, other than breast milk, from the nipple
  • Breast skin irritation, persistent itching, or dimpling – any change in the appearance of your breast skin should be discussed with your physician.
  • Swelling or a lump in your armpit or under your collarbone – cancer typically spreads first to the lymph nodes in these locations. If you do not have a cold, flu, or infection, but soreness persists in these areas for more than a week, have it evaluated by a doctor.

The best way to treat breast cancer is to catch it early. And to do that, you need to know how your breasts normally look and feel. Conducting a monthly self-examination is an essential screening strategy which can lead to earlier small lump discovery. Mammography, while an essential element to breast health, can miss approximately 10% of breast cancer, so breast self-exams remain an important factor in breast health. For more breast cancer facts, information, and self-exam instructions, explore Positive Promotions’ breast cancer education tools.

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