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2 WhatisBreastCancer? A disease where cancer (malignant) cells form in the breast tissue and grow into a tumor Women are more prone to breast cancer than any other type of cancer Men can get breast cancer too (male breast cancer accounts for ~ 1% of all breast cancers)

3 Signs and Symptoms Most common symptom is a new lump or breast change A lump that is painless, hard, with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but not always the case Other possible Other possible signs:

4 Early Detection is Important! Breast cancers found early during screenings are more likely to be smaller, confined to the breast, and easier to treat Breast cancers that are found because they are causing symptoms tend to be larger and more likely to have already spread beyond the breast

5 Self Exams What is it? A screening method that involves examining oneself for breast cancer by looking and feeling each breast for possible lumps or distortions. When? It should be done at least once a month starting in your early 20 s. You can do it when you re standing in the shower or laying in bed. How? Use the pads of 3 fingers and move them in a line or circular pattern, all the way across one breast and then the other. Feel for new lumps or changes.

6 Other Screenings Clinical Breast Exams (CBE) It is an examination of your breasts by a health professional such as a doctor or nurse practitioner. Mammograms It is an x ray of the breast by compressing it between 2 plates to flatten and spread the tissue. It only lasts for 20 seconds and is the most accurate screening. It is best to schedule CBEs after your menstrual period ends, and every 3 years once you turn age 20. Should get annual screenings once you turn age 40.

7 Are you at risk of getting breast cancer? Risk factors you cannot change: Gender Being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer. Women s breast cells are constantly exposed to the growth promoting effects of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone). Age Your risk increases as you get older. Two out of three invasive breast cancers are found in women age 55 or older. Genetics About 5 10% of breast cancer cases are gene defects inherited from a parent. Family History Having a first degree relative (i.e. mother, sister) with breast cancer almost doubles a woman s risk. Race and Ethnicity White women are more likely to develop breast cancer. African American women are more likely to die of this cancer.

8 Other factors to be aware of Lifestyle related factors: Alcohol Women who have 2 to 5 drinks daily have about 1½ times the risk of women who do not drink. Excessive alcohol use is also known to increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and liver. Recent oral contraceptive use Studies have found that women using birth control pills have a slightly greater risk than women who have never used them. Not having children Women who have not had children or had their first child after age 30 have a slightly higher risk. Pregnancy reduces a woman s total number of lifetime menstrual cycles which decreases the exposure to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Being overweight or obese Being overweight or obese have been found to increase breast cancer risk, especially for women after menopause. After menopause, most of a woman s estrogen comes from fat tissue instead of the ovaries. The more fat tissue present the higher the estrogen level the greater the risk.

9 Remember Having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. You can change some lifestyle behaviors to help pprevent breast cancer. Early detection is key! Performing self exams once a month, getting clinical breast exams every three months, and starting mammogram exams when you turn age 40 are easy ways to detect breast cancer early so that it can be treated before it becomes a concern

10 For More Information: The American Cancer Society The National Cancer Institute The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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