Important facts about breast cancer. Part 1

1. The youngest breast cancer survivor was only three years old at the time of her illness. from Ontario, Canada, underwent a total mastectomy in 2010.

2. In the US, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women after skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of death in women after lung cancer.

3. The first operation using anesthesia was an operation for breast cancer.

4. The incidence of breast cancer is highest in more developed countries and lowest in less developed countries. 

5. Only breast cancer occurs in women who have a genetic predisposition to it. However, women with the gene mutation are at lifelong risk and have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

6. Every day in the US an average of women die from breast cancer. This is once every 15 minutes.

7. The left breast is more prone to cancer than the right. Scientists can’t say exactly why.

8. When breast cancer spreads outside the breast, it is considered “metastatic”. Metastases spread mainly to the bones, liver and lungs.

9. White women are at risk of developing breast cancer than African American women. However, the latter are more likely to die from breast cancer than the former.

10. Currently, about 1 in 3000 pregnant or lactating women develop breast cancer. Studies have found that once a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy, her chances of survival are less than those of a non-pregnant woman.

11. Risk factors for breast cancer in men: age, BRCA gene mutation, Klinefelter syndrome, testicular dysfunction, family history of breast cancer in women, severe liver disease, radiation exposure, treatment with estrogen-related drugs, and obesity.

12. Notables who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and who have recovered from the disease: Cynthia Nixon (aged 40), Sheryl Crow (aged 44), Kylie Minogue (aged 36), Jacqueline Smith (aged 56) ). Other historical figures include Mary Washington (mother of George Washington), Empress Theodora (wife of Justinian) and Anne of Austria (mother of Louis XIV).

13. Breast cancer is rare, accounting for approximately 1% of the total number of cases. About 400 men die from breast cancer every year. African Americans are more likely to die from breast cancer than white men.

14. One in 40 women of Ashkenazi (French, German or Eastern European) Jewish descent have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer) genes, which are significantly higher than in the general population, where only one in 500-800 women has the gene.

15. The risk of breast cancer increases when a woman takes contraceptives for more than five years. The biggest risk is when both estrogen and progesterone are taken together. Women who had a hysterectomy and took estrogen-only pills were at lower risk.

16. One of the myths about breast cancer is that a person’s risk only increases when there are affected people on the mother’s side. However, the paternal line is just as important for risk assessment as the maternal line.

17. Tumors are more likely to be malignant if they are firm and irregular in shape, while benign tumors are rounder and softer. However, it is important to visit a doctor if any lump is found in the breast.

18. In 1810, John and Abigail Adams’ daughter Abigail “Nabbi” Adams Smith (1765-1813) was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a debilitating mastectomy – without anesthesia. Unfortunately, the girl died of an illness three years later.

19. The first recorded breast mastectomy was performed on the Byzantine Empress Theodora. 

20. Breast cancer has often been called “the nun’s disease” due to the high incidence of nuns.

21. Although not fully proven, studies have shown that pre-eclampsia (a condition that can develop in a woman during the third trimester of pregnancy) is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in the offspring of the mother.

22. There are a number of misconceptions about what can cause breast cancer. These include: use of deodorants and antiperspirants, wearing bras with outdoor trim, miscarriage or abortion, breast injuries and bruising.

23. between breast implants and an increased risk of breast cancer has not been identified. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that breast implants may be associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. It is not breast cancer, but may appear in the scar capsule surrounding the implant.

24. One has shown that increased exposure to ethylene oxide (a fumigant used to sterilize medical experiments) is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer among women who work in commercial sterilization facilities.

25. The JAMA study reported that women who took between one and 25 antibiotic prescriptions over an average of 17 years had an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The results do not mean that women should stop taking antibiotics, but these medications should be used wisely.

26. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer – the longer the breastfeeding, the greater the benefit. 

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