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What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer and Your Diet

What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer and Your Diet

Eating a balanced diet, getting enough exercise, and managing stress levels is intrinsic to any healthy lifestyle. For those undergoing treatment or in remission from cancer, it is especially important. While no food or diet can prevent the development or recurrence of breast cancer, patients and survivors can make several lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and well-being.

Click here for the 11 Foods Every Breast Cancer Patient Should (and Shouldn’t) Eat slideshow.

According to Johns Hopkins, increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to five or more servings per day can decrease the risk of breast cancer. Certain fruits and vegetables are high in phytochemicals, a natural compound known to protect against cancer. Look out for vibrant produce such as beets, tomatoes, spinach, and blueberries, as color is one indicator of phytonutrient content. Another surefire way to boost your phytochemical intake is to choose cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, among others.

Some studies suggest that the consumption of certain fats may initiate the development of breast cancer. For this reason, patients and survivors should limit their intake of highly saturated fats including beef, cheese, cream, and butter. You should also increase your intake of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil. In place of red meat, choose poultry, vegetable proteins, or fish. Cold-water fish are especially high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which may inhibit the growth of breast tumors.

Finally, there is an association between body mass size and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, boost your energy levels, combat stress, and ease treatment side effects. The kind of exercise and level of intensity depends on each individual, so be sure to consult your doctor before beginning a new workout regimen. After a diagnosis of breast cancer, many women reevaluate their nutrition and health practices. With these few simple modifications, you can improve your overall health and well being, while decreasing your risk of cancer.

The accompanying slideshow is provided by fellow Daily Meal special contributor Kristin Castillo.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.


Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in the U.S. About 13 out of every 100 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime . Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1 in 1000 men in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • Age – Your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers occur in woman age 50+.
  • Family History – About 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited. If your mother, sister, daughter, father, or brother had breast cancer, you have a higher risk. You also have a higher risk if multiple family members have had breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Personal History – Those with previous abnormal breast findings (hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ) may have a higher risk. Women who have had breast cancer once are more likely to get a second breast cancer.
  • History of Periods – Early menstrual periods (before age 12) and starting menopause after age 55 raises women’s risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Density – Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk.
  • Childbirth – Women who have never given birth, who gave birth to their first child after age 30, or who do not breastfeed are at a slightly increased risk.
  • Race – White women have a greater risk of breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be physically active.
  • Aim for a healthy weight and a balanced diet.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
  • Limit alcohol.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tell your health care provider if you notice

  • Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
  • Lump in the armpit
  • Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
  • Pain in the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
  • Unusual breast pain or discomfort
  • Mammogram - A mammogram is a breast x-ray. It can show abnormal lumps before they can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends a first mammogram for women age 40-44. From ages 45-54 women should have a yearly mammogram and after age 55, a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Breast Self-Exam – Be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can tell your health care provider about any changes.
  • Clinical Breast Exam – Your health care provider should use their hands to examine you for lumps and other changes at your regular exam.

The Cancer Support Community wants to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. If you or someone you love is facing cancer, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355.