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The fight against breast cancer

Every October, health campaigns around the world focus on educating people about the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer is a disease that occurs when breast tissue multiples and grows out of control forming a lump or tumor. Most breast cancers occur due to breast tissue aging. Fewer than 10 percent of cases are from inherited breast cancer genes. Breast cancer occurs in men and women, but the majority of cases occur in women over the age of 60.

The bad news

  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in women
  • Breast cancer accounts for nearly 16 percent of all new cancer cases. Nearly 3,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 alone
  • It is estimated that nearly 13 percent of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life (SEER, 2016)

The good news

  • If detected early, most women have a long and healthy life. The five-year survival rate of women diagnosed with breast cancer early on is 90 percent (SEER, 2016). The survival rate depends on what stage the cancer is in when it is detected; therefore, early detection is important
  • Breast cancer is rare among young women. Most women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their 60s (SEER, 2016)
  • Women aged 50-69 benefit the most from screening mammograms, with early detection key to the prevention of breast cancer (Weedon et al, 2014)

How to fight breast cancer 

  • Talk to your physician about breast cancer screening. Screening mammograms can be an important tool to detect breast cancer early. Depending on your age and risk factors, your physician will recommend an appropriate screening strategy
  • Avoid alcohol and get plenty of exercise. Alcohol intake, inactivity, and obesity increase the risk of breast cancer
  • Seek medical advice promptly if you have breast pain, skin changes, nipple discharge or masses
  • Mammograms and other tests are available at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH). Please contact your Primary Care physician to discuss which test is best for you

Find out more about our breast cancer services at JHAH 

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