About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 54,010 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
About 39,840 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2010 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. More than 1 in 4 cancers in women (about 28%) are breast cancer.
In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer.
About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. Women with these mutations have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime, and they are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age (before menopause). An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations.
About 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
The more common signs and symptoms of breast cancer are: presence of a mass; nipple discharge; pain in the breast; and redness in the breast. Early diagnosis of all cancers is critical. For breast cancer, early diagnosis can be accomplished by performing monthly self-breast examinations, keeping regular and routine gynecological examinations, maintaining a diet rich in beta carotene (found in many green vegetables and carrots) and low in fat and abstaining from smoking.
Have a yearly check up with your family doctor and do daily routine exam of your own breasts. Get a second opinion if results from a mammogram indicate presence of cancerous cells. All mammogram results should be verified by another type of test. My sister and her 4 GFs worked in a factory of metals and chemicals 25yrs ago and were all diagnosed with breast cancer, one died complicated by chemo and heat stroke. My sister was blessed since during her biopsy water came out instead of cancerous cells while the doctor was using the needle to extract cells from her breasts.