Breast cancer is a kind of cancer that develops from breast cells. Breast cancer usually spreads from milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. A malignant tumor can spread to other parts of the body. There are two types of breast cancer: lobular carcinoma and ductal carcinoma.

Facts about Breast Cancer

1. WHO records over 18.2% breast cancer deaths worldwide, including both female breast cancer and male breast cancer.

2. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among all women. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer.

3. Breast cancer spreads to the bones, liver and lungs when it spreads beyond the breast.

4. African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.

5. Currently, about 1 in 3,000 pregnant or lactating women have breast cancer. Researchers say that once a woman has been diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy, her chances of survival are less than a non-pregnant woman with breast cancer.

6. Breast cancer in men is rare. US records about 1% of male breast cancer every year. Approximately 400 men die of breast cancer each year. African American men are more likely to die from male breast cancer than white men.

7. Risk factors for male breast cancer include age, gene mutation, family history of female breast cancer, severe liver disease, radiation exposure, being treated with estrogen -related drugs and obesity.

8. The risk of breast cancer increases when a woman has been using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for more than five years. The major risk is when both estrogen and progesterone are given together.

9. Breast cancer increases with age. Nearly 77% of women with breast cancer are over the age of 50 at the time of diagnosis.

10. Tumors are more likely to be malignant when they are firm and have irregular shapes. So it is important to see a doctor when any lump is found in the breast.

11. Lactating has consistently been shown to reduce breast cancer risk—the greater the duration, the greater the benefit.

12. Women with high breast density were found to have a four- to six-fold increased risk of breast cancer when compared with women with lower breast density.

13. Research has found that pomegranates may help to prevent breast cancer. Chemicals called ellagitannins block the production of estrogen, which can fuel some types of breast cancer.

14. There is a strong relationship between overweight and breast cancer, especially in those who gained weight during adolescence or after menopause. Body fat composition in the upper body also increases the risk.

15. On average, it takes 100 days or more for a cancer cell to double its size. It takes about 10 years for cells to divide to a size that can be actually felt.

16. Research has found that breast cancer patients with diabetes were nearly 50% more likely to die than those who didn’t have diabetes.

17. A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 15% of women get breast cancer due to gene mutations in family members.

18. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations, aging process and poor life style habits rather than inherited mutations.

19. Breast cancer increases also due to longer life expectancy, changes in reproductive patterns, longer-term menopausal hormone use, ionizing radiation and increased obesity.

20. If detected and treated early, one third of breast cancer deaths could be decreased every year says WHO. In numbers, it means about 400,000 lives could be saved worldwide every year.



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