The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.
Who gets breast cancer?
Anyone can get breast cancer. For example, did you know…
• the older a woman, the more likely she is to get breast cancer?
• young women can get breast cancer, even in their 20s?
• white women are more likely to get breast cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group?
• African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women?
• men can get breast cancer? Out of every one hundred cases of breast cancer, one will occur in a man.
Here is a list of some known risk factors:
• being a woman
• getting older
• having an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer gene
• lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
• a personal history of breast or ovarian cancer
• a family history of breast, ovarian or prostate cancer
• having high breast density on a mammogram
• having a previous biopsy showing atypical hyperplasia
• starting menopause after age 55
• never having children
• having your first child after age 35
• radiation exposure, frequent X-rays in youth
• high bone density
• being overweight after menopause or gaining weight as an adult
• postmenopausal hormone use (current or recent use) of estrogen or estrogen plus progestin
Your best defense:
The best way to find breast cancer early is to get screened. Talk to your health care provider about what screening tests are right for you. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is the best screening tool used today to find breast cancer early. A mammogram can find cancer in its earliest stages, even before a lump can be felt. All women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year. If you are younger than age 40 with either a family history of breast cancer or other concerns, talk with your health care provider about when to start getting mammograms or other screening tests, like MRI, and how often to have them. A clinical breast exam is done by a health care provider who checks your breasts and underarm areas for any lumps or changes. Many women have a clinical breast exam when they get their Pap test. Women should have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years between the ages of 20 and 39 and every year starting at age 40.
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 12 million Americans were living with Cancer in 2011. Scientific and epidemiological studies suggest that certain types of cancer risk and outcomes maybe positively altered by proper nutritional and antioxidant intake.