Breast cancer facts:
- About one in eight women in the Africa will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, behind skin cancer.
- Two of three breast cancers are found in women 55 or older.
- Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
- Breast cancer survivorship has tripled over the past 60 years.
Risk factors for breast cancer:
- Gender: A woman is 200 times more likely than a man to develop breast cancer.
- Age: Risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older, and half of all breast cancers are diagnosed in women older than 60.
- Genetics: About 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, meaning that they result directly from gene defects inherited from a parent.
- Family history: Risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease. Less than 15 percent of women with breast cancer have a family member with the disease.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese increases breast cancer risk.
- Race: Overall, white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women, but African-American women are more likely to die of this cancer.
- Breast density: Having dense breasts makes your chance of developing breast cancer four times higher.
- Know your family history
- Nutrition: Eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily, limiting processed and red meats. Choose whole grains.
- Screening: Remember to get annual mammograms and clinical breast exams beginning at 40.
- Watch weight: Women who gained 21 to 30 pounds since age 18 were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who hadn’t gained more than five pounds.
- Physical activity: Women who walk briskly for 1.25 to 2.5 hours a week had 18 percent lower risk than women who are inactive.
- Alcohol: Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink a day. Any more than that increases risk by 1.5 times compared to someone who doesn’t drink.
- Swelling in all or part of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Redness, scaliness or thickening of nipple or breast skin
- Nipple discharge