Breast Cancer Facts and Figures: What You Need To Know
FACT – 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
- Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
- Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.
FACT – Breast cancer is the second deadliest cancer in women. Lung cancer is #1
- Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women age 40 to 55.
- Fifteen percent of all breast cancers occur in women under age 45; in this age group, breast cancers are more aggressive and have lower recovery rates.
- Eighty percent of breast lumps are NON-cancerous.
- Seventy percent of breast cancers are found through breast self-exams.
- About 80 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.
“In a 24 hour period in the United States, an average of 112 women dies of breast cancer. Broken down, that is one death every 15 minutes. The numbers continue to rise with each passing year, with America having the highest diagnoses of any country in the world. In 2013, the expected diagnosis is an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer in U.S. women. The left breast may have a slightly higher chance, but check them both carefully; it is estimated the numbers will continue to grow.” source
The American Institute of Cancer Research estimated that about 40 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases could be prevented if people make wiser lifestyle choices!
According to Dr. Mercola: The most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer include the following:
- A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- Bloody discharge, or other unusual discharge, from your nipple
- A change in your breast’s size or shape
- Changes in the skin on your breast, such as dimpling or indentation
- Redness or pitting of your breast skin—kind of like the skin of an orange
- Pain or tenderness in your breast
- An inverted nipple
- Peeling or flaking of the nipple
- Enlarged lymph nodes or swelling in your armpit
Dr. Mercola has a great article about breast cancer, treatments and prevention that I highly recommend here. And here is a PDF file going deeper into breast cancer facts and figures if you want to take this topic even further- however they neglect to mention the many toxins in personal care items which I believe are related to the increase in breast cancer in women.
Do a breast self-exam every month. Below is a breast self exam infographic explaining the simple breast self exam steps. A quick guide through a self exam you can do in the shower.
Limit Alcohol– drinking increases the risk of breast cancer (alcohol increases estrogen levels) so limit your alcohol consumption.
Green Your Beauty Cabinet, in other words, throw out anything that contains toxins and harmful chemicals.
From Dr. Mercola:
There are thousands of chemicals in personal care products, and few have been tested for safety. Putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them, because when you eat something everything must go to your liver before entering your bloodstream, providing your body an opportunity to detoxify substances that could be harmful.
When you put chemicals on your skin however, they’re absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, so the toxic chemicals from toiletries and beauty products are largely going into your blood, lymphatic system and then directly into your internal organs.
Exercise– reduces overall breast-cancer risk by about 10 percent to 30 percent. Aim for four hours a week of exercise. The less you exercise, the higher the levels of estrogen in the body.
Avoid canned food. BPA in cans has not been totally identified as a breast cancer causer in humans, but it causes mammary tumors in rodent studies. Cook with stainless steel or cast iron. Do not use aluminum pans: “breast tissue has been shown to concentrate aluminum and it is found in highest levels in the quadrant of the breast near the underarm region, the same area where the highest proportion of breast cancers are originally diagnosed.”
Stay away from foods containing hydrogenated oils, sugar substitutes, sugar, nitrates which all have been linked to cancer.
Don’t smoke! Who doesn’t know by now that smoking is linked to cancer?
Use natural sunscreens. “Many sunscreens contain the active ingredient titanium oxide. Dioxin, a carcinogenic agent linked to increases in breast cancer, is released during its production. Small amounts of dioxin are often found in sunscreen products.”
Supplement your diet with proper amounts of vitamin D3 which has been proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Green your cleaning products. Trying to stay away from as many harmful chemicals as I can, I’ve begun making my own cleaning sprays, using vinegar, distilled water and essential oils. The stuff you buy in the store, even those bearing a ‘natural’ label may contain toxins linked to cancer.
Eat lots of Super Foods– I mentioned turmeric the other day but there are loads of nutritious, delicious plants and herbs to incorporate into your daily diet. Its best to choose organic and/or locally grown. The most nutrient rich foods include- kelp, spicy foods, cruciferous vegetables especially broccoli, green tea, nuts (contain omega 3’s), onions, garlic.
Get plenty of Vitamin A- best sources are organic egg yolks, raw butter, raw whole milk, and beef or chicken liver.
Drink a quart of organic green juice daily- women with higher levels of carotenoids, or nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially cancers that are more difficult to treat.
Antiperspirants can increase your breast cancer risk due to their toxic metals, such as aluminum, which influence estrogen activity. I either make my own with baking soda and essential oils or use one from Honeybee Gardens.
Avoid air fresheners and scented candles. Benzene, (a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor) is given off from artificially scented candles, creating major indoor air pollution.
There is a ton of information available online and in various books but the bottom line is read labels, eat a healthy and nutritious diet, exercise and stay away from toxins and dangerous chemicals (if you can’t pronounce it, leave it alone).
What are you doing to decrease your cancer risk?