Did you know that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? It is the most common type of cancer in women, and it is estimated that over 250,000 women will be diagnosed with this type of cancer this year. While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time to raise awareness for this disease, it's also a good time to learn more about it. Here are five surprising facts about this type of cancer:

5 Surprising Facts You Should Know About Breast Cancer 

  1. Not all breast lumps are cancerous. 

Breast cancer symptoms can vary widely from person to person, and not all breast lumps are cancerous. In fact, most breast lumps are benign, meaning they are not cancerous. However, it is important to see a doctor if you notice any changes in your breast, such as a new lump or mass, nipple discharge, or a change in the size or shape of your breast. 

While benign breast lumps are usually not cause for concern, they can sometimes be a sign of other health problems, so it is important to get them checked out by a doctor. If you have any concerns about your breast health, please don't hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor.

  1. Men and women can have breast cancer.

While breast cancer is most commonly thought of as a women's disease, both men and women can develop the condition. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, about 1% of all breast cancer cases occur in men. Male breast cancer typically occurs in older men, with the average age of diagnosis being around 68 years old. Risk factors for developing the disease include a history of cancer in the family, exposure to radiation, and certain genetic conditions. Men with any of these risk factors should be sure to consult with their doctor about regular screenings. 

Early detection is key to successful treatment, so it is important for men to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this type of cancer. These can include a lump or thickening in the breast tissue, changes in the appearance of the nipple, and discharge from the nipple. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see your doctor as soon as possible.

  1. Breast pain isn’t always a symptom.

Many women experience breast pain at some point in their lives, and it can be a source of great anxiety. However, it is important to remember that breast pain is not always a symptom of cancer. In fact, most cases of breast pain are not related to cancer at all. A number of benign conditions can cause breast pain, including hormonal changes, cysts, and infection. 

Additionally, certain medications and activities can also trigger breast pain. While it is possible for this type of cancer to cause pain, it is usually not the only symptom present. If you are experiencing breast pain, it is important to talk to your doctor so that they can determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

  1. Age increases your risk for breast cancer.

Age is the most significant risk factor for breast cancer. The chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases as you age, with the majority of cases occurring in women over the age of 50. In fact, more than two-thirds of all breast cancers are diagnosed in women over the age of 60. While the exact reason for this link is unknown, it is thought that older women are more likely to have genetically damaged cells that are more susceptible to carcinogenesis. 

Additionally, older women are more likely to have more mutations in their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are associated with an increased risk for cancer. As such, age is a major risk factor that should be considered when making decisions about breast cancer screening and prevention.

  1. Early detection saves lives. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and early detection is crucial to survival. When caught in its earliest stages, this type of cancer is highly treatable and the chances of survival are excellent. There are a number of screening tools available to detect breast cancer in its early stages, including mammography, which can detect tumors that are too small to be felt. 

Clinical breast exams and self-breast exams are also important for early detection, as they can help to identify changes in the breasts that may be indicative of cancer. By being aware of the signs and symptoms of this type of cancer, women can take action to catch the disease in its earliest stages and improve their chances of beating it.

Get Mammogram for Breast Cancer at BCOM

At BCOM, our Care Team and Community Program Navigators utilize interventions and strategies that are appropriate to the population, based on culture, language, age and gender. We facilitate referrals for mammogram screenings to help detect breast cancer in its early stages and help patients understand their options and make the best decisions for their care. Our team assists Women’s health patients in finding ways to pay for their breast health care and provide patient transportation where needed. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you through every step of the process.