Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. About one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her life. Death rates from female breast cancer dropped significantly from 1989 to 2016, and continue to decrease in older women and early detection and treatment of breast cancer decreases. On average, the chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about one in 38 (about 2.6%).
A number of risk factors contribute to a woman’s chance of developing cancer. Some can’t be controlled. Breast cancer risk increases as women get older, occurring most frequently in women and 55 and over. Women who have close blood relatives with bread cancer are at higher risk, as are those who have certain genetic mutations passed on from a parent. Women who have dense breast tissue or certain non-cancer breast conditions may also have a higher risk.
Lifestyle factors also affect the risk of breast cancer. These can include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Being overweight or obese, especially after menopause
- Not being physically active
- Not having children, or having a first child after age 30
- Use of hormonal birth control methods
- Hormone therapy after menopause
- Breast implants
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. Other possible symptoms include:
- Swelling or all or part of a breast, with or without a distinct lump
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast or nipple pain
- A nipple that turns inward
- Changes in the breast skin or nipple
Finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Regular screening can identify possible cancers when they are still small and before they cause symptoms. It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for cancer screening.
Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type and stage of the cancer and the patient’s age, overall health and preferences. Treatment options may include radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, surgery or a combination of treatments. Lake Health/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer team is led by Dr. Maria Espinosa and Dr. Daniel Silbiger, and includes radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and other healthcare professionals.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Espinosa or any of our specialists, call (440) 205-5755.
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Fundraising efforts throughout the year help LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center continue to carry out our mission to provide world-class cancer care and oncology services to residents within driving distance of Mentor and Lake County.