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October 12, 2018

Seven Surprising Facts About Breast Cancer

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

Breast cancer awareness has a lot of people seeing pink this month, with good reason. More than 250,000 women will be diagnosed this year, and most of us will know someone personally affected. While one in eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime, there are still many misconceptions that get in the way of an early diagnosis. Even though breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women, here are seven surprising facts that you may not realize.

  1.  It’s not all about the breast. Tissue from your collarbone to your armpit can be affected.
  2.  Nine of out 10 women diagnosed have no family history.
  3.  80 percent of lumps are benign.
  4.  Less than five percent of breast cancers occur in women under the age of 40.
  5.  Men get breast cancer too, and it can be deadly if not detected.
  6. It’s not just your genes—smoking, alcohol, extra weight and a lack of exercise can increase your odds of being diagnosed.
  7.  The number one risk factor is being a woman.

Most women are worried about breast cancer, but oftentimes not for all the right reasons. If you’re concerned about your risk, get the facts from your provider, and put together a personal prevention plan while you’re at it!