Breast cancer doesn’t just affect those with the disease. We are all in a fight against breast cancer whether we are personally battling the disease or know someone that is. Breast cancer isn’t strange or unknown to many of us, but even with all that breast cancer knowledge out there, there’s still a lot that most of us don’t know, even cancer survivors.
The more we know about breast cancer, the better able we are to fight it. Keep reading for 5 important facts about breast cancer you probably don’t know .
Family History Isn’t as Big a Deal as You Think
Don’t think you aren’t at risk for breast cancer if you don’t have a close female relative with the disease. Although family history can increase your risk (your risk doubles if you have a first degree relative with the disease), it isn’t the only determining factor. Only 13 percent of women diagnosed with cancer have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer. All women, family history or not, should be taking active steps to monitor themselves for signs of breast cancer.
Your Race Impacts Your Breast Cancer Risk
Your ethnicity doesn’t just play a role in determining the color of your skin; it can also impact your breast cancer risk. White, non-Hispanic women are the greatest risk for breast cancer while those of Asian and Pacific Islander descent are of the lowest risk.
Breast Implants Can Make it Harder to Spot Breast Cancer
For some women breast implants can make it harder to catch breast cancer. Implants can make it more difficult to feel lumps on your own and in some cases can obscure images on a mammogram. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy implants if you want; just make sure you’re taking the right precautions. Dr. Henry G. Wells, a plastic surgeon from Lexington, KY explains, “Catching breast cancer early with breast implants is possible, but sometimes it takes a bit of extra effort. Most importantly, don’t skip your recommended screenings. When go in for a mammogram call ahead and explain that you have implants so the technician can take your implants into account. They may need to take a few extra, but overall the process is just as easy as any other mammogram. Mammograms are important for all women, but if you have implants make sure you never skip your recommended screenings.”
Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too
Breast cancer is certainly more common in women than in men, but men get the disease too. Each year it is estimated that more than 2,100 men will get breast cancer with approximately 410 yearly deaths due to the disease. Men should watch out for lumps or swelling or swelling in the breast area, changes to the breast skin, nipple discharge, and nipple retraction (nipple turning inward). Men that notice breast changes should see their doctor as soon as possible to rule out breast cancer.
If Caught Early Breast Cancer Is Almost 100% Survivable
Early detection is a key to winning the battle against breast cancer. If caught early on a great majority of women will successfully fight breast cancer and survive. According to the American Cancer Society breast cancer has a 100% 5 year survival rate if caught in stage 0 or 1 and a 93% survival rate in stage 2. These numbers drop dramatically for later stage cancers making breast self-exams, mammograms, and other screenings essential for all women.
Breast cancer shouldn’t be a mystery. The more we know about the disease the better we able we are to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Wells Plastic Surgery, led by board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Henry Wells has provided a comprehensive approach to meeting our patients needs for over twenty years. Every procedure and product is evaluated for efficacy and safety before adopting it for our patients. We don’t sell services. We provide choices. From facials to facelifts, we strive to meet and exceed your expectations. Our practice like this website is interactive. We invite you to come in, talk to us, learn who we are, and let us learn more about you and your goals.