How to: Self Breast Exam

How common is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide in women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation: In recent years, perhaps coinciding with the decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause, we have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options. Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation

Breast Cancer Facts

  • In 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 62,930 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • 62% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage, for which the 5-year survival rate is 99%.
  • This year, an estimated 41,760 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S.
  • Although rare, men get breast cancer too. The lifetime risk for U.S. men is about 1 in 1,000.
  • An estimated 2,670 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the United States and approximately 500 will die.
  • 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers.
  • There are over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
  • On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
  • Female breast cancer represents 15.2% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation

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Types of breast tumors

Benign Tumors

Benign means that the growth is non-cancerous. More than likely, the tumor will be left alone and not removed. Only when the tumor begins to grow and push on other organs causing pain is when they will usually be removed. This is more so to improve quality of life and reduce any pain or pressure.

Malignant Tumors

Malignant refers to the growth being cancerous. Unlike benign tumors, these tumors are aggresive and can damage surrounding tissue. A biopsy is typically performed to determine the type and severity of the tumors aggressiveness.

Metastatic Tumors

Metastatic means the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body even forming a new tumor.

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