Monday, October 25, 2010

Breast Cancer Facts

My college daughter offered to give me some facts on breast cancer for this post. How could I say no? 

She is graduating in a few months with a degree in exercise science, a four year degree from Florida State University.

She then is off to get her masters! Smart kid

The following information was offered from

Core Concepts in Health. 
Eleventh Edition. Paul M. Insel and Walton T. Roth

What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.

  • 1:7 women will develop breast cancer = 182,000 women a year.

  • 1:30 women will die from breast cancer = 41,000 women a year.

  • Less than 1% of breast cancer occurs in women under the age of 30. More than 75% of the cancer occurs in women over 50 years old.

  • The risk doubles every 5 years between 30-45 years old and increases 10-15% every 5 years after the woman reaches the age of 45.

  • A woman with two close relatives with breast cancer is 4-6 times more likely to develop the cancer.

  • However, only about 15% of women with a history of breast cancer develop the cancer.

  • Risk factors: early menstruation, late menopause, not having children, having a first child after the age of 30, using hormone replacement therapy, obesity, and alcohol use.

  • Many of these risk factors involve high amounts of estrogen – early menstruation, late menopause, obesity, and alcohol. The longer a woman has a high flow of estrogen, the more at risk they are. Fat cells produce estrogen, so obese women produce more estrogen. Alcohol interferes with the way alcohol is metabolized by the liver and produces more estrogen in the blood.

  • Estrogen is a growth hormone. It promotes cell growth in the breast and uterus.

  • A Low-fat, vegetable-rich diet, regular exercise, limited alcohol consumption, and weight maintenance can help lower the chance of a woman developing breast cancer.

  • Mammograms every year after the age of 40 are used for early detection. Women between 20-39 should have a clinical breast exam every 3 years. Breast self-exams should start at 20 years old.

  • Watch out for lumps, swelling, thickening, skin irritation, dimpling, nipple pain, scaliness, and retraction.

  • Survival rates: 98% if not metastasized, 89% for all stages after 5 years, and 80% at 10 years.

    Thanks Daughter!
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