In honor of breast cancer awareness day.. Ladies, go 👏🏼 get 👏🏼 checked 👏🏼!!
About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. Breast cancer tends to occur in women over 45, but according to the CDC, 9% of all new breast cancer cases are found in women under 45.
I had a breast cancer scare back in 2012. My OB-GYN found a lump in my breast. She was concerned enough, that she sent me for a mammogram. I wasn’t even 30 yet. I was scared to death. What if I have breast cancer. What about my children? I didn’t know what to think.
I went to the cancer center a week later. I got my mammogram and went on my way. A few days later, I got my results. It was a benign tumor. They said it was caused by caffeine. To be safe, I had to schedule a follow-up in 6 months. They found the same results at that appointment.
Some women aren’t so lucky. That’s why it’s so important to do regular self-checks at home. If you don’t know how to do them yourself, google has some great resources.
You should examine your breasts once a month. Know your “normal”. If anything looks or feels off, make an appointment with your doctor asap.
Between 5% and 10% (but up to 27%) of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary. These result directly from gene changes, or mutations, passed down by a parent. Experts tend to agree that breast cancer is mainly caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. However, they don’t know what causes cells to become cancerous.
Caucasian women are more prone to developing breast cancer than African American, Hispanic, or Asian women. However, African Americans are more likely to develop more aggressive, more advanced-stage breast cancer that is diagnosed at an early age. African American women are also more likely to die from breast cancer.
The recovery rate for breast cancer, if caught early enough, is pretty high. Around 95 out of every 100 women (around 95%) survive their cancer for 1 year or more after diagnosis. Around 85 out of every 100 women (around 85%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis. Around 75 out of every 100 women (around 75%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more after diagnosis.
Unfortunately, no one is ever fully “cured” from breast cancer, as there is always a chance of recurrence. Treatment for breast cancer is successful for most people, and the risk of recurrence gets less as time goes on. Recurrence, unfortunately, can happen even many years after treatment.
There are four stages with breast cancer. Stage I: Cancer is localized to a small area and hasn’t spread to lymph nodes or other tissues. Stage II: Cancer has grown, but it hasn’t spread. Stage III: Cancer has grown larger and has possibly spread to lymph nodes or other tissues. Stage IV: Cancer has spread to other organs or areas of your body.
The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 39 (about 2.5%). Breast cancer death rates have been decreasing steadily since 1989, for an overall decline of 43% through 2020. While treatable, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) cannot be cured. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is 22 percent; median survival is three years. Annually, the disease takes 40,000 lives.
Men are also at risk for developing breast cancer. However, rare, it does happen. It grows in the small amount of breast tissue men have behind their nipples. It usually happens in men over 60, but can very occasionally affect younger men.
I can’t stress this enough.. check yourself!! It only takes a minute, and it could save your life.
Here are some myths about breast cancer that have been “debunked”.
In October, we wear pink!!
For more information about breast cancer, visit https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470 or https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/what-is-breast-cancer.htm