Are You Aware? – 10 Things You May or May Not Know About Breast Cancer

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by JayHawkPharmacyBlogger

In honor of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we at Jayhawk Pharmacy are dedicating our blog to a four-part series on breast cancer awareness.  With over 3 million women battling breast cancer today, everywhere you turn there is someone who has been affected by breast cancer. How much do you really know about breast cancer?  The answer may surprise you.  The first part of our four-part series will give you some information and facts that you may or may not be aware of regarding breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Facts

1. There are two main types of breast cancer.
“In situ” and “Invasive” are the two main types of breast cancer.
2. Breast cancer claims the second largest mortality rate among women in the U.S.
There were approximately 39,620 breast cancer-related deaths among women in 2013; only lung cancer claimed more lives.
3. It can happen to anybody.
There were just over 2,200 cases of male breast cancer in 2013, with approximately 18% of them being fatal.  
4. What are the odds?
Women have approximately 1-8 (12.3%) chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer.
5. Mortality rates are slowly, but surely decreasing.
From 2001-2010, mortality rates decreased at a rate of approximately 1.2% annually. 
6. Consistent screening is important to early detection.
Although mammography is not 100% effective, you should still get tested every year, especially if you are over the age of 30.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

7. Alcohol consumption can lead to increased risk.
Alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer by 7-12% for every 10g (roughly one drink) consumed per day.  This has an impact on increasing estrogen and androgen levels, and is a dose dependent figure, so type of drink is irrelevant.
8. Tobacco usage is linked to increased risk.
Statistics show that tobacco use increases the risk of breast cancer by 12%.
9. Certain contraceptives can be risky.
High-dose estrogen oral contraceptives may increase risk by 10-30%.  Women who stop taking them for ten years plus, have the same risk as someone who has never taken them.
10. Abortions are not linked to risk.
Contrary to popular belief, abortions are not scientifically linked to an increase in breast cancer.

Join us next week as we discuss the potential symptoms and warning signs of breast cancer. 

*Source: American Cancer Society Report – Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2013-2014 http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@research/documents/document/acspc-042725.pdf 

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