Education

One of our prime purposes is education. All information on this site is designed to help, but it does not intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment that a patient is to receive from their health care provider.  Pleas consult your health care provider for more specific information about your breast cancer.

Cancer Facts and Statistics 

The American Cancer Society projects the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths expected each year in order to estimate the contemporary cancer burden, because cancer incidence and mortality data lag three to four years behind the current year. In addition, the regularly updated Facts & Figures publications present the most current trends in cancer occurrence and survival, as well as information on symptoms, prevention, early detection, and treatment.

Breast Cancer Basic Facts

The National Cancer Institute estimates that approximately 2.6 million US women with a history of breast cancer were alive in January 2008, more than half of whom were diagnosed less than 10 years earlier.3 Most of these individuals were cancer-free, while others still had evidence of cancer and may have been undergoing treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?

Breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and most treatable. Therefore, it is very important for women to follow recommended screening guidelines for detect­ing breast cancer at an early stage, before symptoms develop. When breast cancer has grown to a size that can be felt, the most common physical sign is a painless lump. Sometimes breast can­cer can spread to underarm lymph nodes and cause a lump or swelling, even before the original breast tumor is large enough to be felt. Less common signs and symptoms include breast pain or heaviness; persistent changes to the breast, such as swelling, thickening, or redness of the breast’s skin; and nipple abnormal­ities such as spontaneous discharge (especially if bloody), erosion, inversion, or tenderness. It is important to note that pain (or lack thereof) does not indicate the presence or the absence of breast cancer. Any persistent abnormality in the breast should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible.

Who gets breast cancer?

Sex

• Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for nearly 1 in 3 cancers diagnosed in US women.

• Men are generally at low risk for developing breast cancer; however, they should report any change in their breasts to a physician.

Age

• Breast cancer incidence and death rates generally increase with age. Ninety-five percent of new cases and 97% of breast cancer deaths occurred in women 40 years of age and older.

• During 2004-2008, among adult women, those 20-24 years of age had the lowest incidence rate, 1.5 cases per 100,000 women; women 75-79 years of age had the highest incidence rate, 421.3 cases per 100,000. The decrease in incidence rates that occurs in women 80 years of age and older may reflect lower rates of screening, the detection of cancers by mammography before 80 years of age, and/or incomplete detection.

• During 2004-2008, the median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis was 61 years.3 This means that 50% of women who developed breast cancer were 61 years of age or younger at the time of diagnosis.

American Cancer Society Guidelines for Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention

Maintain a healthy weight throughout life.

• Balance calorie intake with physical activity.

• Avoid excessive weight gain throughout life.

• Achieve and maintain a healthy weight if currently over­weight or obese.

Adopt a physically active lifestyle.

• Adults should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, above usual activities, on 5 or more days of the week; 45 to 60 minutes of intentional physical activity is preferable.

• Children and adolescents should engage in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week.

Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant sources.

• Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

• Eat 5 or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.

• Choose whole grains over processed (refined) grains.

• Limit intake of processed and red meats.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit your intake.

• Women should drink no more than 1 drink per day (or 2 per day for men).