Breast Cancer Facts

Here is some information about breast cancer, provided by Steve Wei of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center:

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, occurring in approximately 1 in 8 women (13%) in the US.  In 2009, an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed among women in the United States, the majority in women over age 60.  Less than 5 percent of all instances of breast cancer occur in women under age 40.

Breast cancer remains the leading cancer among Asian women.  Since 1990, the death rates from breast cancer have been declining, a trend that is believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness.  However, only 48.5 percent of Asian women 50 years and older in the U.S. have had a mammogram or clinical breast examination within the last two years—the lowest rate of screening among all racial or ethnic groups.

Please get screened regularly, and perform self-examinations frequently. Ask your doctor how to perform an effective self-exam. (There’s more to it than you might guess.) In younger women especially, mammograms aren’t always able to detect tumors that can be easily felt in a self-exam.

Be aware that men can get breast cancer as well. Make an appointment to see a doctor immediately if you detect any lumps or abnormal developments on the surface.

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About Olen Rambow

Teacher. Writer. Erstwhile applied physicist and mathematician.
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