Random Facts
interesting facts
Abortion Facts

Cancer Facts

Depression Facts

Diabetes Facts

Heart Disease Facts

Human Body Facts

Human Heart Facts

Human Parasites Facts

Menstruation Facts

Obesity Facts

Osteoporosis Facts

Plastic Surgery Facts

Pregnancy Facts

Stress Facts

Walking Facts

Women Facts

Breast Cancer History

53 Little Known Facts About . . .

Breast Cancer

  1. The youngest known survivor of breast cancer is Aleisha Hunter from Ontario, Canada. At only three years old, Aleisha underwent a complete mastectomy in 2010 to treat her juvenile strain of breast cancer.k
  2. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among American women after skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer.e
  3. The first operation to use anesthesia was a breast cancer surgery.f
  4. The incidence of breast cancer is highest in more developed countries and lowest in less developed countries.g
  5. left breast Breast cancer affects the left breast slightly more than the right
  6. The left breast is statistically more prone to developing cancer than the right breast. Scientists are unsure why.h
  7. In the U.S., an average of 112 women die of breast cancer every day, or one every 15 minutes.c
  8. The United States has the most cases of breast cancer in the world.b
  9. The first recorded mastectomy for breast occurred in A.D. 548 on Theodora, Empress of Byzantine.l
  10. Only 5-10% of breast cancers occur in women who have a genetic predisposition for it. However, women with the gene mutation run a lifetime risk as high as 4 in 5 of developing the disease. The risk of developing ovarian cancer also rises to 2 in 5.c
  11. When breast cancer spreads beyond the breast, it is said to be “metastatic.” The most common places breast cancer spreads to are the bones, liver, and lungs.b
  12. There are currently 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.e
  13. During 2002-2006, 95% of new cases and 97% of breast cancer deaths occurred in women 40 years and older. The biggest single risk factor for breast cancer is age.c
  14. White women have a higher incidence of breast cancer than African American women. However, African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.c
  15. Currently, about 1 in 3,000 pregnant or lactating women will develop breast cancer. Research has shown that once a woman has been diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy, her chances of survival are less than a non-pregnant woman.b
  16. mammogram Women age 40 and older should have screening mammograms every 1 to 2 years
  17. It has been estimated that if every woman over the age of 50 had her yearly mammogram, breast cancer deaths in this age group would drop by 25% or more.c
  18. Breast cancer in men is rare, accounting for approximately 1% of breast cancer rates in the U.S. Nearly 400 men die of breast cancer each year. African American men are more likely to die from breast cancer than white men.c
  19. Risk factors for male breast cancer include age, BRCA gene mutations, Klinefelter’s syndrome, testicular disorders, a family history of female breast cancer, severe liver disease, radiation exposure, being treated with estrogen-related drugs, and obesity.g
  20. One in 40 women of Ashkenazi (French, German, and East European) Jewish descent carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer) gene, which is significantly higher than in the general population where only 1 in 500 to 800 people carry the gene.b
  21. The risk for breast cancer increases when a woman has been using HRT for more than five years. The largest risk is when both estrogen and progesterone are given together. Women who have had a hysterectomy and are taking pills containing estrogen alone are at less of a risk.b
  22. One myth about breast cancer is that a person’s risk is increased only when there are affected relatives on the mother’s side of the family. However, the father’s side of the family is equally important in assessing breast cancer risk.e
  23. Tumors are more likely to be malignant when they are firm and have irregular shapes, while benign tumors are more likely to feel round or soft. However, it is important to see a doctor when any lump is found in the breast.b
  24. In 1810, the daughter of John and Abigail Adams, Abigail “Nabby” Adams Smith (1765-1813) was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a grueling mastectomy—without anesthesia. Unfortunately, she still eventually died from the disease three years later.l
  25. Breast cancer was often called the “nun’s disease” because of the high incidence of nuns affected by the cancer.l
  26. Mammography was initially used in 1969 when the first specialized X-ray units for breast imagining were developed.e
  27. In 1882, the father of American surgery, William Steward Halstead (1852-1922), introduced the first radical mastectomy (the breast tissue underlying chest muscle and the lymph nodes are removed). Until the mid 1970s, 90% of women with breast cancer were treated with this procedure.g
  28. breast feeding Breast feeding cuts the risk for breast cancer
  29. Breastfeeding has consistently been shown to reduce breast cancer—the greater the duration, the greater the benefit.g
  30. Although not fully understood, research suggests that pre-eclampsia is associated with a decrease in breast cancer risk in the offspring and the mother.c
  31. There are a number of misconceptions about what can cause breast cancer. These include, but are not limited to, using deodorants or antiperspirants, wearing underwire bras, having a miscarriage or induced abortion, or bumping/bruising the breast tissue.b
  32. A JAMA study reports that women who had taken between one and 25 antibiotic prescriptions over an average of 17 years had an increased risk for breast cancer. The results do not mean women should stop taking antibiotics but that these medicines should be used wisely.o
  33. Women with high breast density were found to have a four- to six-fold increased risk of breast cancer compared with women with lower breast density.c
  34. No association has been found between breast implants and an increased risk of breast cancer. However, the FDA recently announced that breast implants might be associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). ALCL is not breast cancer, but may show up in the scar capsule surrounding the implant.i
  35. One study found that increased exposure to ethylene oxide, a fumigant used to sterilize medical experiments, is associated with higher breast cancer risk among women who work in commercial sterilization facilities.c
  36. Nurses who work night shifts and flight attendants who have circadian rhythm disruption have a higher risk of breast cancer with long-term employment. The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently concluded that shift work, especially at night, is carcinogenic to humans.c
  37. Currently a woman living in the U.S. has a 12.1% (or 1 in 8) chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer. In the 1970s, the risk was 1 in 11. The increase is most likely due to longer life expectancy as well as changes in reproductive patterns, longer-term menopausal hormone use, increased obesity, and increased screening.c
  38. The most common type of breast cancer (70%) originates in the breast ducts and is known as ductal carcinoma. A less common type of breast cancer (15%) is known as lobular carcinoma, or cancer that originates in the lobules. More rare types of cancers include medullary carcinoma, Paget’s disease, tubular carcinoma, inflammatory breast cancer, and phyllodes tumors.e
  39. Nearly 10.4 % of all cancers in women is breast cancer.c
  40. Approximately 1.2 million cases of breast cancer are diagnosed around the world each year. About 75% are found in women over age 50.c
  41. multivitamines Multivitamins have been linked to increased breast cancer risk
  42. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports a higher risk of breast cancer in women who take multivitamins.j
  43. Research has found that pomegranates may help prevent breast cancer. Chemicals called ellagitannins block the production of estrogen, which can fuel some types of breast cancer.m
  44. Studies report that breast cancer patients with diabetes were nearly 50% more likely to die than those who didn’t have diabetes.b
  45. Long-term breast survivors who were treated with radiation before 1984 have much higher rates of death due to heart disease.d
  46. There is a strong correlation between increased weight and breast cancer, especially those who gained weight in adolescence or after menopause. Body fat composition in the upper body also increases the risk.g
  47. On average, it takes 100 days or more for a cancer cell to double in size. It takes about 10 years for cells to divide to a size that can be actually felt.b
  48. Notable women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer include “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon (diagnosed in 2006 at age 40), Sheryl Crow (diagnosed in 2006 at 44), Kylie Minoque (diagnosed in 2005 at 36), Elizabeth Edwards (diagnosed in 2004 at 55), Jaclyn Smith (diagnosed in 2002 at 56), and Christina Applegate (diagnosed in 2008 at 36). Other historical figures include Mary Washington (mother of George Washington), Empress Theodora (wife of Justinian), and Anne of Austria (mother of Louis the XIV).a
  49. Breast cancer was one of the first cancers to be described by ancient physicians. For example, physicians in ancient Egypt described breast cancer more than 3,500 years ago. One surgeon describes “bulging” tumors in the breast of which “there is no cure.”l
  50. In 400 B.C., Hippocrates describe breast cancer as a humoral disease caused by black bile or melancholia. He labeled cancer karkinos, meaning “crab,” because the tumors seemed to have tentacles which looked like the legs of crab.l
  51. To disprove the theory that breast cancer was caused by an imbalance of the four body humors, namely an excess of bile, French physicians Jean Astruc (1684-1766) cooked a slice of breast cancer tissue and a slice of beef and then chewed both. He said that because they tasted exactly the same, breast cancer tumor does not contain bile or acid.l
  52. Some physicians throughout history have proposed that breast cancer was caused by several factors, including lack of sex—which caused reproductive organs, such as the breast, to atrophy and rot. Other physicians suggested that “vigorous sex” blocked the lymphatic system, that depression restricted blood vessels and trapped coagulated blood, and that a sedentary lifestyle slowed bodily fluids.l
  53. Jerome Urban (1914-1991), who practiced the super-radical mastectomy in 1949, would remove not only the breast and axillary nodes but also the chest muscles and internal mammary nodes in a single procedure—often on patients who had tumors less than a centimeter large. He stopped in 1963 when he became convinced it worked no better than the less mutilating radical mastectomy.l
  54. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). The first NBCAM took place in October 1985.e
  55. Studies show that social isolation and stress can increase the speed at which breast cancer tumors grow in animal models.b
  56. Not all lumps that are found in the breast are cancerous but may be a fibrocystic breast condition (disease), which is benign.b
  57. Researchers speculate that left-handed women are more prone to developing breast cancer because they are exposed to higher levels of certain steroid hormones in the womb.n

-- Posted February 7, 2011

References

a “10 Celebrities Who Battled Breast Cancer.” Health.com. 2011. Accessed: January 19, 2011.

b Bellenir, Karen, ed. 2009. Breast Cancer Sourcebook. 3rd ed. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics.

c “Breast Cancer Facts and Figures: 2009-2010.” American Cancer Society. 2009. Accessed: January 19, 2011.

d “Breast Cancer Radiation before 1984 Tied to Heart Disease.” USNews. January 17, 2011. Accessed: January 19, 2011.

e Brown, Zora K. and Karl K. Boatman, MD. 2009. 100 Questions and Answers about Breast Cancer. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

f Burnell, Brown, MD. “An Account of the First Use of Sulpheric Ether by Inhalation as an Anesthetic in Surgical Operations.” Survey of Anesthesiology. 12:1991 (35:6) 375.

g Carvalho, Lucia, RN/MSN, and James A. Stewart, MD. 2009. The Everything Health Guide to Living with Breast Cancer. Avon, MA: Adams Media

h “Epidemiology of Breast Cancer.” Medicine World. Accessed: January 27, 2011.

i Hobson, Katherine. “About That Breast Implant/Cancer Risk.” The Wall Street Journal. January 27, 2011. Accessed: January 27, 2011.

j Mann, Denise. “Multivitamins Linked to Breast Cancer Risk.” April 1, 2010. Accessed: January 19, 2011.

k “Meet the Toddler Who Survived Breast Cancer.” MSNBC. January 20, 2011. Accessed: January 25, 2011.

l Olson, James S. 2002. Bathsheba’s Breast: Women, Cancer, and History. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.

m Smith, Rebecca. “Eating Pomegranates May Help Prevent Breast Cancer.” The Telegraph. January 5, 2010. Accessed: January 19, 2011.

n Stein, Rob. “Breast Cancer, Handedness Could be Linked.” The Washington Post. September 6, 2005. Accessed: January 27, 2011.

o Velicer, CM, et al. “Antiobiotic Use in Relation to the Risk of Breast Cancer.” JAMA. February 18, 2004. 291 (7): 827-835.