The world really took notice when in May 2013 Hollywood actress, Angelina Jolie, announced her double mastectomy and reconstruction to prevent breast cancer. “I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren”, Angelina Jolie had said.
Since Jolie’s popularity has helped spread the word about this rather hush-hush disease all over the world. Over 20% of women, according to media reports, said they are dealing more intensively with the disease than before. Collectively, US, India, and China account for almost one-third of the global breast cancer burden. In India in 2012 alone over 144,937 women were newly detected with breast cancer, while 70,218 women died of breast cancer. Which means that for every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one lady is dying of it.
Hence, it is important to take notice of this malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast and can spread into other parts of the body, causing permanent damages. One way to fight the fear of breast cancer is to be well-informed. So here are 5 little-known facts about the disease:
are not foolproof: Yes, Mammograms are a powerful way to detect breast cancer early on, but they are not 100% accurate. Mammograms are most effective in women aged 50 and over. You should talk to your doctor about when you should start getting mammograms regularly, or if you have symptoms that suggest that you should get one.
2, Not all women have a 1-in-8 chance of getting breast cancer. It is definitely true that your risk increases as you get older. A woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 233 when she’s in her 30s and rises to 1 in 8 by the time she’s reached 85, according to research reports.
3, A lump not always equals cancer. Feeling a lump in your breast can be a terrifying experience, but according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 8 out of 10 breast lumps are not cancerous. While most breast lumps are cysts (fluid-filled sacs within your breast).
4, Men can get breast cancer too! Yes, you heard us right. Even though it is true that women make up the largest proportion of people who get breast cancer, but men are equally susceptible.
The worry here is that most men do not know they are vulnerable, and do not go in for check-ups like women.
5, Active women are less likely to develop and die from breast cancer. Regular exercise has consistently been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. A well balanced Mediterranean diet, which includes plenty of vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage combined with 30-minutes of daily exercise, should take you a long way.