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October = Pink. Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer by the numbers

It is the most common cancer among women in the U.S..

Women in the U.S., have a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer

Every 2 minutes a case of breast cancer is diagnosed in a woman in the U.S.

In 2018 more than 260,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women and more than 2,500 cases in men in the U.S.

In 2018 more than 41,000 women and men in the U.S. are expected to die from breast cancer

Improvements in early detection and treatment led to a 39% decline in breast cancer deahts in the u.s. between 1989 and 2015

There are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

Q. Is breast cancer always accompanied by a lump?

A. Not always. Many women with breast cancer never have any signs or symptoms, and their cancer is found on a screening test such as a mammogram. Among women who do experience warning signs, a lump in the breast or underarm area is the most common red flag. However, as a recent study illustrates, some women will discover their cancer because they’re experiencing other, less common signs and symptoms.

Risk factors

Being aware of breast cancer risk factors is the best way to determine and identify how you can reduce your risk. Keep in mind that risk statistics can be confusing. Before making sweeping changes based on the latest news headline, talk with your doctor about what a given statistic or risk factor means for you.

Breast cancer risk factors include:

■ Being female

■ Increasing age

■ Prior history of breast cancer or precancerous breast lesions

■ History of radiation to the chest

■ Family history of breast or ovarian cancer

■ An inherited genetic mutation

■ Dense breasts on a mammogram

■ Obesity after menopause

■ Longer estrogen exposure (early menstruation and late menopause)

■ Use of combined menopausal hormone therapy

■ Use of the medication diethylstilbestrol (DES)

■ Alcohol consumption

■ Smoking

■ Never having children

There is hope. It comes in the form of awareness, prevention and treatments that are improving and advancing constantly.

Reducing your risk

Some breast cancer risk factors are within your control. Anyone can work to reduce the risk of breast cancer through changing lifestyle habits, including avoiding known cancer risks and maintaining a healthy weight. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women. Numerous studies show that regular physical activity reduces breast cancer risk. The link between diet and breast cancer risk is less clear, though some studies indicate that high levels of fruit and vegetable consumption are associated with lower rates of hormone receptor negative breast cancers.

Physical activity and breast cancer risk

There’s a well-established link between physical activity and breast cancer prevention. Women who get regular physical activity — especially if that activity is of moderate to vigorous intensity — have a 10 to 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer than do inactive women. This is especially true among postmenopausal women, indicating that it’s never too late to start reaping the benefits of exercise. Two studies from Yale University found that exercise and weight loss reduced levels of a certain protein associated with a higher risk of breast cancer death. And, as little as two to three hours a week of moderate exercise such as brisk walking has been found to reduce breast cancer recurrence by 40 to 67 percent.

Mayo Clinic Newsletter August 2016

link to the full article:

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