The National Cancer Institute offers a wealth of helpful information. In my Twitter feed today, one fact sheet caught my attention: “Breast Cancer Risk in American Women.” Here are some key points worth noting:
- Based on current breast cancer incidence rates, experts estimate that about one out of every eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.
- The strongest risk factor for breast cancer is age. A woman’s risk of developing this disease increases as she gets older.
- Other factors can also increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, including inherited changes in certain genes, a personal or family history of breast cancer, having dense breasts, beginning to menstruate before age 12, starting menopause after age 55, having a first full-term pregnancy after age 30, never having been pregnant, obesity after menopause, and alcohol use.
It’s a sobering (and heartbreaking) reality to realize that one out of every eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.
The rest of the fact sheet asks and answers three questions (filling out the key points above):
- What is the average American woman’s risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime?
- What is the average American woman’s risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer at different ages?
- What factors increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer?
Many thanks to the National Cancer Institute for collecting and disseminating information like this. It’s a powerful reminder of why Team Julia exists and a tremendous motivator to press on in our research and benevolence efforts.
You can read the whole fact sheet here.