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5 Important Facts about Breast Cancer

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Nurse standing in front of a mammography machine

Most of us have been affected by breast cancer, whether it’s through a friend, relative, coworker, or our own battle. As a result, we may believe we know everything we need to know about breast cancer. However, here are five things you may not know.  

1. 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a family history of breast cancer

Don’t assume since nobody in your family has had breast cancer that you’re in the clear. While having a family history of breast cancer certainly increases your risk of getting it, your family isn’t the sole indicator of whether or not you’ll be diagnosed.

2. One in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime

This fact may not surprise you because it’s communicated rather well. Don’t be desensitized to its message, though. One in eight makes it a pretty common thing. Think about it. Imagine eight of your relatives, eight of your coworkers, or eight of your friends, and think about one person from each group getting breast cancer. It’s a sobering thought.

3. Only 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to inherited gene mutations

Gene mutations such as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes greatly increase your risk of getting breast cancer, but they don’t account for the vast majority of breast cancer diagnoses. It’s another reminder to not depend just on your family’s history or your genetic makeup regarding your prevalence of getting breast cancer.

4. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer cause of death in women

Lung cancer is actually the most common cancer cause of death in women. According to the American Cancer Society, 86 percent of women survive breast cancer 10 years after diagnosis.

5. 3D screening mammograms can detect breast cancer earlier, especially in women with dense breast tissue

Fortunately, survival rates have increased over the years due to increased screenings and improved technologies. Screening mammography is a low-cost, easy exam that is usually recommended to women as the first step in breast cancer detection. 3D mammography is a new type of mammography that is quickly replacing 2D mammography. Benefits of 3D mammography include clearer images, greater accuracy in pinpointing tumor size and location, fewer biopsies and additional testing, and earlier detection.

Thanks to generous contributions from Dickinson County Endowment Fund, Bank Midwest, Jerry and Jo Martin, Lakes Regional Healthcare Volunteers, and many other businesses, organizations, and community residents to Lakes Regional Healthcare Foundation, 3D mammography technology is available at Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Those interested in scheduling an appointment can do so by calling 712-336-8658.

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