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10 Facts About Breast Cancer Every Woman Should Know

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s time to pull out the pink ribbons to spread the message. Researchers credit higher survival rates to better treatment, earlier detection, and of course, awareness. In light of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are 10 facts about breast cancer every woman should know.

  1. It’s the most common cancer diagnosis for women worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. One in eight women1 in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
  2. Even though men can get breast cancer, the disease is 100 times2 more common in women.
  3. Other than being a woman, age is the second most common risk factor. The median3 age for diagnosis is 62.
  4. In early stages, there are nearly no signs or symptoms. But as the cancer progresses, you may feel a painless lump in your breast. The American Cancer Society3 cites that other signs may include breast heaviness or pain; changes in thickness, swelling, or redness of the skin; and nipple abnormalities, like discharge or retraction.
  5. The good news: The American Cancer Society3 says the mortality rate of breast cancer has decreased 36 percent from 1989 to 2012, crediting improvements in treatment and increased early detection.
  6. Obesity3 increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer – the risk rises 1.5 times for overweight women and is 2 times higher for obese women than for lean women.
  7. Getting regular physical activity can actually lower your risk by as much as 25 percent3.
  8. It may be wise to put down that adult beverage. Two to three alcoholic drinks per day escalates the risk for developing this disease by 20 percent3.
  9. The American Cancer Society4 recommends women with an average risk of developing breast cancer should begin yearly mammograms at age 45. While a mammogram is certainly not the most perfect screening tool, women who do have regular mammograms are more likely to find breast cancer in early stages and need less aggressive treatment.
  10. There are more than 3.1 million5 breast cancer survivors currently living in the United States.

Awareness is the first step to helping others. Share this article to help spread the message of breast cancer awareness to help a fellow friend or family member.



  1. National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc
  2. American Cancer Society
  3. Breast Cancer Fact Sheet
  4. American Cancer Society
  5. American Cancer Society
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