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Breast Cancer Quiz

  1. Breast cancer is most common among women under age 40.

    The likelihood of developing breast cancer increases with age. While breast cancer is uncommon in women under age 35, it occurs much more frequently in women over 50. Women over 60 are at the highest risk.
  2. A lump or mass in the breast is an early warning sign of breast cancer.

    Breast cancer usually doesn’t have symptoms when it first develops. That’s why it’s important for you to follow the screening schedule, including regular mammograms, your doctor recommends. In fact, a lump in the breast may be an indication that the cancer has begun to advance and invade surrounding tissues.
  3. Red, scaly, or swollen breasts may be a symptom of breast cancer.

    A sore, warm, or itchy breast with scaly, thickened, or pitted skin may be symptomatic of a rare type of cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC. Because of its symptoms, IBC is sometimes mistaken for an infection in its early stages.
  4. Inherited genetic alterations account for 80% of all breast cancers.

    While it is true that inheriting certain genetic mutations can put you at risk for breast cancer, these account for a minority of cases - 5% to 10% by most estimates. Hereditary breast cancers run in families and tend to occur earlier than non-hereditary breast cancer. If you’re at risk, testing is available to determine whether you inherited genetic alterations that can lead to the disease.
  5. Lifelong exposure to estrogen is a risk factor for breast cancer.

    Estrogen can fuel the growth of some breast cancers. For this reason, circumstances that prolong your estrogen exposure can increase your risk. For example, taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy that contain synthetic estrogens can elevate your risk. Menstruating at age 12 or earlier or experiencing menopause at age 55 or later can also make it more likely you’ll develop breast cancer, along with many other factors.
  6. Men can develop breast cancer.

    Although far more common in women, breast cancer can develop in men as well. In the United States, about 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
  7. A woman who lives until age 80 has a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer.

    The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. Women ages 30 to 39 have about a 1 in 233 chance of developing the disease. The risk increases to 1 in 69 for women ages 40 to 49, and to 1 in 28 for women 50 to 59. The incidence is 1 in 27 for women age 60 though 69, and jumps to 1 in 8 for women 80 or older.
  8. Weight gain after menopause increases a woman's risk of breast cancer.

    Weight gain during menopause can increase your risk of breast cancer. In fact, according to the 2006 Nurses’ Health Study, which analyzed information from 121,700 women, those who gained 22 pounds or more after menopause had an 18% increase in their relative risk of breast cancer.
  9. Giving birth increases your breast cancer risk.

    In fact, having biological children can lower your breast cancer risk - especially if you give birth before age 35 or if you breastfeed. That’s because estrogen levels drop during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and increased exposure to the hormone estrogen is associated with breast cancer.
  10. Eight out of ten breast lumps are not cancer.

    The majority of breast lumps or masses discovered during self-exams, clinical exams by a doctor, and mammograms are not cancer. Nonetheless, it’s very important to get screened regularly so that the disease can be detected early, when there’s the greatest hope for a cure.

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