feed twitter facebook


breast cancer

Web Extra: Facts and statistics you should know about breast cancer


Breast cancer ranks second among cancer deaths in women, after lung cancer.

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the American Cancer Society helps spread the word through statistics it has complied on numbers and such things as early detection, early risk factors and prevention.

For example, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 98 percent among individuals whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at the time of diagnosis.

Here are some of the other facts and statistics:

An estimated 178,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States during 2007.

About 2,030 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.

An estimated 40,910 breast cancer deaths (40,460 women and 450 men) are expected in 2007.

Risk factors:

The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age.

Important factors that increase a woman's risk for developing breast cancer include certain inherited genetic mutations (BRCA1 and BRCA2), a personal or family history of breast cancer, high breast-tissue density as seen on mammograms, biopsy-confirmed hyperplasia, and high-dose radiation therapy to the chest.

Other risk factors include a long menstrual history, obesity after menopause, recent use of oral contraceptives, postmenopausal hormone therapy, never having children or having one's first child after 30, or consumption of one or more alcoholic beverages per day.

Prevention: At this time, there is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, which is why regular mammograms are so important, says ACS. A woman's best overall preventive health strategies, besides regular mammograms, are to:

Maintain a healthy body weight

Engage in regular physical activity

Reduce alcohol consumption

For women already diagnosed with breast cancer:

For women who have already been diagnosed with the disease, a Journal of the American Medical Association study found that exercise improves survival in women with breast cancer. The study found that women with breast cancer who engaged in an amount of physical activity equivalent to walking one or more hours per week had better survival compared with those who exercised less than that or not at all.

What are the treatments?

ACS says cancer treatment varies widely depending on the type and stage of cancer, as well as the age and medical history of the patient. Treatment for breast cancer may include surgery (i.e., lumpectomy or mastectomy), chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or hormone therapy.

Treatment decisions are made by the patient and her physician after consideration of the optimal treatment available for the stage and biological characteristics of the cancer, the patient's age and preferences, and the risks and benefits associated with each treatment protocol.

Most women with breast cancer will have some type of surgery. Surgery is often combined with other treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and/or monoclonal antibody therapy. Treatment guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network are available through the American Cancer Society Web site at

Places to go for more information:

American Cancer Society Nationwide Services

National Cancer Information Center (1-800-ACS-2345): 24 hours a day, trained cancer information specialists offer live support and answers questions about cancer, link callers with community resources, and provide information on local events.

American Cancer Society Web site ( an interactive cancer resource center containing in-depth information on every major cancer type.

Cancer Survivors NetworkSM ( Online services contain survivor and caregiver content, including radio talk show conversations/interviews, personal stories, discussion forums, and resources.

No comments: