INTRODUCTION TO RAISING AWARENESS
The first post in our Breast Cancer Awareness Month series in collaboration with Breast Cancer Care starts with some basic information about breast cancer.
Let’s fight breast cancer together!
WHAT IS BREAST CANCER?
Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to divide and grow in an abnormal way. It’s caused by a combination of lots of different factors, many of which are beyond our control.
Breast cancer is not one single disease – there are several types of breast cancer. It can be diagnosed at different stages and can grow at different rates. This means that people can have different treatments, depending on what will work best for them.
WHO GETS BREAST CANCER?
The lifetime risk of getting breast cancer for a woman is 1 in 8.
This is the same as saying around 13% of women get breast cancer in their lifetime. It also means that 7 out of 8 women – or around 87% of women – won’t get breast cancer.
Men get breast cancer too, although it’s very rare.
MORE COMMON IN OLDER PEOPLE
Most breast cancers (8 out of 10) occur in women who are over the age of 50. Nearly half of all cases are diagnosed in people in the 50–69 age group.
Most men who get breast cancer are over 60.
MOST CASES DON’T RUN IN THE FAMILY
Most cases of breast cancer happen by chance.
Only around 5% of breast cancers are caused by inheriting an altered gene. For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not increase their risk of developing the disease.
If you’re worried about whether your family history of breast cancer might mean your own risk is increased, speak to your Local Doctor.