The thought of having breast cancer is frightening to every woman, and devastating to some. However, ignoring the possibility that you may get breast cancer, or avoiding the things you should do to detect and avoid cancer, can be even more dangerous.
Breast cancer is a devastating disease that may affect one out of nine women in the United States. This year alone, a patient will be diagnosed every three minutes and a woman will die from breast cancer every thirteen minutes. Unfortunately, there is still little known about the disease’s cause or cure. Currently the only means of increasing a breast cancer victim’s chance of survival is early detection by annual breast exams and education about the disease.
A professional high quality mammogram is the most reliable way to find breast cancer as early as possible. By the time a lump can be felt in a woman’s breast, it is usually bigger than the size of cancers that can be found with a mammogram. About twenty five percent of breast cancers are found through monthly exams and thirty five percent are found through mammograms. They rate of cancers discovered increases to nearly forty percent when physical exams and mammograms are used. Women are urged to do both.
Educating women about breast cancer has become increasing important. Recently, an alarming survey, conducted by the American Cancer Society, showed that many women have incorrect perceptions about their risk of getting breast cancer. Nearly half of the women believed their chances of developing cancer were as much as fifty percent, when in reality it is only eleven percent. Also, many women thought that their risk of getting breast cancer was highest in their thirties and fourths, when in fact the risk increases with age.
In many ways, talking about the risk factors for breast cancer is a bit misleading, and can give many women a false sense of security. Of the cases of breast cancer diagnosed every year, 70% of the patients have none of the risk factors. It is important to understand what are the real risk factors and how they affect the chances of developing breast cancer. Some of the main risk factors that women should be aware of include: family...