10 Things You Need to Know About Breast Cancer

Separating Myth From Fact for Better Cancer Detection and Treatment

Breast cancer is not a disease that hides in textbooks; its risks, research, treatment and prevention have taken center stage in the medical arena for decades. You probably know quite a bit about it by now, whether or not breast cancer affects you personally.

But how much do you really know? Some common myths and assumptions about breast cancer may have seeped into your understanding of the disease, and that can work against you. Get to know some important facts about breast cancer that can help you appreciate your personal risk and spot trouble early on.

Genetics Are Only Part of the Problem

Certain genetic factors that lie outside your control may be working against you when it comes to breast cancer risk. It turns out white and black women have the highest risk; Asian, Hispanic and Pacific Islander women have the lowest. No matter what your ethnicity, if you have a mother, sister or daughter who was diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk of contracting the disease doubles.

But that’s not to say you’re in the clear if you have no genetic connection. The American Cancer Society reports that 85 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a family history of it, and no ethnicity is completely immune to the disease. In turn, it’s crucial to stay on top of your breast cancer screening, especially after age 40.

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