With the news this morning that Renee Zellweger had a cancer scare back in 1996, we started thinking about just how many female celebrities have battled breast cancer in the last few years — it’s been almost as frequent as the number of those having twins! Christina Applegate, Sheryl Crowe, Melissa Etheridge, Edie Falco, Olivia Newton John, Cynthia Nixon, Robin Roberts, Kylie Minogue, and Elizabeth Edwards are among the many women in the news who have battled breast cancer and it really indicates how many more women NOT making headlines are facing the disease themselves. According to the Susan G. Komen For The Cure, nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year and about 40,000 women will die from the disease. With that in mind, I wanted to compile a list of must know information for women about breast cancer — when to get checked out, what to look for, what your personal risk is, etc. Check it out, after the jump….FACTS:
1. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the U.S. and is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women aged 40 to 59.
2. In the U.S., White women get breast cancer most often, followed by black women, Asian women and Pacific Islander, Hispanic women and Native American women. However, black women are most likely to die from breast cancer, followed by white women, Hispanic women, Native American women, Asian women and Pacific Islander women.
3. There is no known cause of breast cancer, but there are risk factors that may increase a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. Some risk factors can be controlled, while others can’t.
4. Not having children or having a first child after age 30 increases the risk of breast cancer. Current or recent use of oral contraceptives causes a slightly higher risk, but the increased risk declines when they are stopped and returns to normal after ten years.
5. A woman’s exposure to estrogen over her lifetime influences the risk of developing breast cancer. Having a first period before age 12 or entering menopause at age 55 or older increases a woman’s exposure to estrogen and increases her risk.
6. Women of higher socioeconomic status have an increased risk. It is suspected that it may be related to lifestyle factors such as not having children, having fewer children, having children later or not breastfeeding.
7. Men can get breast cancer. About 2,000 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in men this year and over 400 will die from breast cancer. For every one man diagnosed with breast cancer, there are 100 women diagnosed.
What To Look/Feel For: