Breast Cancer Facts You May Not Know

Cancer factsBreast Cancer is a well-known topic in all groups, no matter the age or gender. The facts circulating every day are generally those meant for prevention or procedural care, so here are some breast cancer facts you may not know to help everyone stay informed.

Aleisha Hunter of Ontario, Canada is the youngest known survivor of breast cancer. At just three years old, Aleisha underwent a full mastectomy due to a rare form of breast cancer known as juvenile breast carcinoma. When Aleisha was two and a half years old, her mother noticed the toddler had a small lump on her breast and after a few months of tests came the devastating diagnosis every parent fears.

One day when she is older Aleisha will have reconstructive surgery, but as it stands now, she and her parents are just grateful she survived.

Breast cancer, though not that common in women under forty, and certainly almost non-existent in cases like Aleisha’s, is the second most common type of cancer in women. Breast cancer also is the second deadliest cancer in women. While genetic disposition can be an obvious warning sign, it is still recommended every woman, whether or not breast cancer is known to run in her family, have regular check-ups and make a routine of self-examination.

While self-examining, pay a little more attention to the left breast, as research suggests the left side of the body is ten percent more prone to melanoma development, and the left breast is between five and ten percent more likely to have mammary carcinoma. Scientists have not been able to find the link between the left side and its predominance, so taking a little more time while examining is the safest way for early discovery.

No matter which breast is cancerous, in a 24 hour period in the United States an average of 112 women dies of breast cancer. Broken down, that is one death every 15 minutes. The numbers continue to rise with each passing year, with America having the highest diagnoses of any country in the world. In 2013, the expected diagnosis is an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer in U.S. women.  The left breast may have a slightly higher chance, but check them both carefully; it is estimated the numbers will continue to grow.

Statistically, Caucasian women have a greater chance of a breast cancer diagnosis than African-American women do, however Caucasian women have a greater chance of survival. Studies show African-American women die of breast cancer 41 percent more than Caucasian women do; out of every 100 breast cancer diagnoses, African-American women have nine more deaths. Scientists still have no clear understanding of the noticeable difference in the mortality rates. With the numbers growing as quickly as they are, it gives us yet another reason to maintain our self-examinations and regular doctor’s visits.

Learning the proper way to self-examine, staying on top of new information, taking precautionary measures to ensure early detection, and practicing preventive exercises are the best ways to keep this ever-growing genocide from becoming a part of our lives. There are still breast cancer facts we may not know, but each day we are presented with new, hopeful information that could one day be the cure.

 

(Op-ed)

Written by: Amy Magness Whatley

 

Facts

Aleisha

Statistics

African-Americans

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