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Breast Cancer 101

Today in the United States, it is estimated that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer.  Men have a risk of about 1 in 1,000.  Breast cancer is one of the most common diagnosed cancers in woman and has one of the highest death rates.  However, since the late 1980s there has been a decrease in death rates thanks to new treatments and increased breast cancer screenings.

Early detection of the breast cancer can provide early treatment for the service member and or their beneficiaries. For those women diagnosed with localized (Stage 1) breast cancer there is a more than 98 percent probability that they will survive five or more years.

What is breast cancer? Breast cancer is a tumor that forms from breast cells that grow out of control.  What happens in the body is that some genes that are in charge of growing cells and keeping them nourished start changing abnormally.  They then multiply out of control and that forms a tumor.  Cancer cells from the breast can then travel to other parts of the body.
What are the risk factors for breast cancer?  There are risk factors for breast cancer that are out of one’s control.  These include aging, being a woman, family history, pregnancy and more.  Then there are risk factors that can be addressed such as weight, diet, exercise, stress and more.
What tests are done to diagnose breast cancer?  Currently there are screening tests available to woman on a yearly basis to help detect any early signs of breast cancer.  There are then diagnostic tests that are done to see if breast cancer is there and the severity of it.  Testing is also available to monitor health during and after treatment of breast cancer.
October is recognized nationally as breast cancer awareness month.  Check out Breastcancer.org for information on symptoms and diagnosis, treatment and side effects, getting involved in breast cancer awareness and more!
Source: https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics

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