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Breast of the Breast: 30 Facts about Breast Cancer We All Should Know and Share Part 1

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It celebrates the 2.8 million survivors of breast cancer, and emphasizes the need to continue research to cure the disease. Here are 30 facts about it we, and all our loved ones, should be aware of. 

10. One Hundred Times More Common in Women

Though men do get this category of cancer, the leading risk factor for it is simply being a woman and getting older. 

9. Know the Warning Signs of Breast Cancer


Though they are not the same for all women, the most common signs are: change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge.

8. The Importance of Mammograms

Getting a mammogram can help reduce the number of deaths from cancer by 30 to 40 percent among women ages 40 to 70.

7. Deaths on the Decline

An example of a exam on the breast for the women

The deaths have been declining since 1990 thanks to early detection, better screening, increased cancer awareness, and new treatment options.

6. Linked to Close Family

According to Breast, a woman’s risk of cancer practically doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed.

5. Is Not Only Genetic

DNA of a women

About 85 percent of cases occur in women without a history of breast cancer in their family.

4. Small Percentage Linked to Inherited Genes Mutations

According to Breast, roughly 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers can be traced to specific, inherited gene mutations, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.

3. Know the Dangers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genes


BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are the most common. Those with the BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65 percent risk of developing it before age 70. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 45 percent. There’s also an increased ovarian cancer risk associated with these genetic mutations.

2. Ashkenazi Jewish Women at Risk

These women have a higher risk of having BRCA mutation. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that Ashkenazi Jewish women test for BRCA mutations if they have a first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer or two second-degree relatives on the same side of the family with breast or ovarian cancer.

1. Genetic Screenings are Not Performed Often 


Only about 2 percent of women meet the guidelines for genetic screening, a study of a person’s DNA in order to identify genetic differences or susceptibility to particular diseases or abnormalities.

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