The current rate of breast cancer in US women is 1 in 8 women at some point in their lives. This is around 12%, a higher rate than in Asia and Africa, where the rate is around 4%. Learn more on Breast Cancer Statistics
Experts are not sure of the reasons for the difference, though disparate standards of medical care and screening could mean under reporting.
Around 300,000 new cases will be discovered each year in the US. Around 40,000 women will die of cancer in the US each year. On the other hand, the chance that a woman will never have breast cancer is 87.6 percent, or about 7 in 8.
On the other hand, the chance that she will never have breast cancer is 87.6 percent, or about 7 in 8. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. It is the second cause of cancer mortality after lung cancer.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
As bad as this sounds, it is important to put it into perspective. One in 3 women will die of heart disease compared with 1 in 31 women dying of breast cancer. Fortunately, a healthier lifestyle can be good for cancer prevention as well as for heart health.
The Importance of Early Detection With Breast Cancer
In many cases, the sooner a health problem is discovered, the more likely it is for the patient to have a better outcome or prognosis. This is certainly true of breast cancer. The earlier it is detected, the better the treatment and chance of a good outcome. The longer it has not been detected, the more chance it has to advance to the point where it can’t be treated effectively.
18 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Cancer
How do I do a breast cancer self-examination?
There are several steps for doing a breast cancer self-examination to try to find any unusual things going on with your breast. The first step will be to check the appearance of your breasts in the mirror with your arms lowered, looking for dimpling or any irregularities on the breast or in the appearance of the nipple. Second step, raise your arms above your head and check them again.
The third step is to check your nipples for any discharge. Unless you are pregnant or breast feeding, there should be no liquid coming from your breasts.
Step four is to lie down comfortably and check your breasts with your fingers. Use the pads of your fingers to examine your breasts, looking for any changes in the tissue texture of the breast. Apply a light pressure first, then a medium pressure for mid-level pressure, and a firmer pressure to get to the deeper levels of breast tissue.
Go through this process with both breasts. As you check, you can use one of two methods, or both if you are very concerned because you have a history of lumpy breasts or a family history of breast cancer. In the clock method, move around the breast and underarm using the numbers on the clock. With the lawn mower method, go up and down in small rows.
The fifth step is to check the breasts once more sitting or standing. Doing this in the shower makes it easier. Practice these breast cancer prevention techniques and see what a difference they can make to your health.