Breast Cancer Facts

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In 2013, there were an estimated 3,053,450 women were living with breast cancer in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.

SEER says it's the second leading cause of death from cancer in American women.

Furthermore,  SEER says that about 12.4 percent of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2011-2013 data.

Are there any signs of breast cancer to be aware of?

(Credit: SEER)
  • Lump or change in the breast
  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast.
  • A nipple turned inward into the breast.
  • Fluid, other than breast milk, from the nipple, especially if it's bloody.
  • Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola (the dark area of skin around the nipple).
  • Dimples in the breast that look like the skin of an orange, called peau d'orange.

Remember to always check with your doctor if you think something may be wrong. Learn more about the different options for breast cancer treatment

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

SEER reports that the following are risk factors for breast cancer:

  • Older age
  • A personal history of breast cancer or benign (noncancer) breast disease
  • A family history of breast cancer
  • Inherited gene changes
  • Dense breasts
  • Exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made in the body
  • Taking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause
  • Radiation therapy to the breast or chest
  • Obesity
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being white

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