- About Breast Cancer
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We believe in a world where no one dies from breast cancer.
To get there, Crystal Flash and Susan G. Komen Michigan are working to bring breast health awareness to the communities we serve.
What is breast cancer?
In a healthy body, natural systems control the creation, growth and death of cells. Cancer occurs when these systems do not work right and cells do not die at the normal rate. Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast divide and grow without their normal control. Tumors in the breast tend to grow slowly. But, changes can happen year to year, so it’s important to be screened regularly.
Detecting breast cancer early can save your life.
When breast cancer is detected early and hasn’t left the breast, women have a 99% survival rate.* And, if all women used the resources available to them now, we could lower breast cancer deaths by 30% — right here in Michigan.
What are my risk factors?
A “risk factor” is anything that increases your risk of developing breast cancer. Unfortunately, the biggest risks are being female and getting older — two things you can’t avoid. However, there’s good news: eating right, exercising and living a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
|Under Your Control||Out of Your Control|
|Drinking Alcohol||Family History of Breast Cancer|
|Smoking||Personal History of Breast Cancer|
|Stress + Anxiety||Exposure to Estrogen|
What are the warning signs of breast cancer?
Because of mammograms, most breast cancers in the U.S. are found at an early stage, before any changes to the breast can be seen. However, it’s important to know possible warning signs of breast cancer. The three most common signs are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple, and nipple discharge.
Know Your Normal
The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women, so it’s important to know what’s normal for you and your breasts! If you have any of the warning signs described above, see your doctor. In most cases, these changes are not cancer. For example, breast pain is more common with benign breast conditions than with breast cancer. However, the only way to know for sure is to see your doctor.
When should I be screened for breast cancer?
Breast cancer screening is important for all women, especially if you have a family history of breast cancer (sisters, mother, aunts, grandmothers).
|Age 25-39||Age 40+|
|Clinical Breast Exam||Every 1-3 years||Every year|
|Mammogram||Not recommended unless there are high-risk factors or a family history of breast cancer||Every year, for as long as you are in good health|
(!) Your doctor may recommend screening at an earlier age if someone in your family was diagnosed before age 40.
*5-year relative survival rate