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Care For Yourself - Information for the Public - Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Facts

In 2014, an estimated 235,030 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States. In Iowa, 2014, 2,320 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and about 390 will die from this disease. Only lung cancer causes more cancer death among Iowa women than breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

  • Breast cancer can happen at any age, but it becomes more common as women get older.
  • Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have not family history of the disease.
  • One or more first degree relatives with breast cancer.
  • Most breast lumps are not cancer.
  • The two major risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and aging.

Other Risk Factors To Be Aware Of:

  • A personal or family history on both sides of your family (maternal/paternal) of breast cancer in a first degree relative.
  • Beginning menstruation before age 12 or starting menopause after age 55.
  • Using combined hormone replacement therapy (combined estrogen and progestin).
  • Weighing too much, especially after menopause.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Smoking or being exposed to second smoke.
  • Never giving birth or having a first baby after age 30.

Having a risk factor for breast cancer does not mean that you will get the disease. It is important to be aware of the risk factors and to practice prevention and receive early detection screening services.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

It is important to see your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms.

When breast cancer is found early, a woman has more treatment choices and a better chance of recovery.

Breast Cancer Early Detection and Prevention

Early detection could save your life. Breast cancer found early means early treatment. Earlier treatment can mean a better outcome. There are three methods than can be used to find breast cancer early.

  • Have a mammogram every year.
  • Have a clinical breast exam by your health care provider.
  • Check your own breasts by doing a monthly breast self exam.