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One in Eight: A Woman’s Odds of Getting Breast Cancer

breast cancer awareness

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. About one in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. While breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, it is the second leading cause of cancer death among women (after lung cancer). That means that many women survive breast cancer, but it needs to be found and treated early. That’s why awareness is so important.

be-proudThe risk for breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50. Learn the warning signs for women.

  • If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every two years. You may also choose to get them more often, or your doctor may recommend it, depending on your health history.

Men can get breast cancer, too, though it’s less common and often diagnosed at a later stage. Survival rates are about the same as for women. Learn the warning signs for men.

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours has had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

Mammograms are covered by most health insurance programs. If you are uninsured or underinsured and a women between 40–64 years of age (or a man age 50–64), contact Public Health—Seattle & King County at 800-756-5437 to inquire about free breast, cervical and colon health and screenings.

Early detection is the best protection!

Aging and Disability Services planner and AgeWise King County editor Irene Stewart compiled this article from online sources. If you have questions about any kind of cancer, talk with your health care provider.