Over the past few decades, the news about breast cancer has been increasingly hopeful. But, despite widespread public awareness, research efforts and improved survival rates, half-truths and false controversies continue to drive many women’s fears about the disease. The best way to combat these fears is to better understand what breast cancer really is and is not.
Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in the United States (U.S.). It’s also the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women, after lung cancer.
About one in eight American women — 12 out of every 100 — will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. So, it’s more correct to say that one in eight women who reach the age of 80 can expect to get breast cancer. For most women, the risk of getting the disease is actually lower than 12% with each decade of life.
While breast cancer remains a serious threat to women’s health, there were approximately 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. as of 2011.
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