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breast cancer awareness

Know the Facts About Breast Cancer...
              ...For Yourself and For the Women You Love


Breast Cancer Affects One in Eight Women During Their Lives

Pink ribbons of support are constant reminders, but do you know the facts about breast cancer?


What Are the Risks of Breast Cancer?

Genetic and personal factors:

  • Two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, greatly increase the risk. Women who have family members with breast or ovarian cancer are encouraged to start testing earlier.
  • Beginning periods before age 12 or going through menopause after age 55 are associated with higher incidence of breast cancer.
  • Having dense breasts

Behavioral/other risks:

  • Being overweight
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Using birth control pills
  • Drinking excess alcohol
  • Not having children or having your first child after age 35
  • Lack of exercise

What Can You Do to Decrease Your Risk?


Who is Affected By Breast Cancer?

  • Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women.
  • Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
  • In 2004 (most recent year available), 186,772 women and 1,815 men were diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • In 2004 (most recent year available), 40,954 women and 362 men died from breast cancer.
  • The risk of dying from breast cancer increases with age.

How Have the Numbers Changed?

In the United States, incidence of breast cancer has...

  • decreased significantly by 3.5% per year from 2001 to 2004 among women.
  • remained level from 1992 to 2004 among African-American women.
  • remained level from 1995 to 2004 among Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic women.

In the United States, deaths from breast cancer have...

  • decreased significantly by 2.2% per year from 1990 to 2004 among women.
  • decreased significantly by 1.3% per year from 1992 to 2004 among African-American women.
  • remained level from 1995 to 2004 among Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
  • decreased significantly by 2.4% per year from 1995 to 2004 among Hispanic women.


What Are the Survival Rates?

The five-year survival rate refers to the number of patients who live at least five years after their cancer is found. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the five-year survival rates for persons with breast cancer that is appropriately treated are as follows:

  • 100% for stage 0
  • 100% for stage I
  • 92% for stage IIA
  • 81% for stage IIB
  • 67% for stage IIIA
  • 54% for stage IIIB
  • 20% for stage IV

Content courtesy of CDC, National Library of Medicine and National Cancer Institute


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