Why Is Breast Cancer the Most Common Cancer in Women?

According to breastcancer.org, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. In 2019 alone, nearly 300,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed. While men also get breast cancer, the rates among men are significantly lower than among women. Many women wonder why breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, second only to skin cancer, and unfortunately, in most cases there are no clear-cut answers. Breast cancer is the second-deadliest cancer for women, second only to lung cancer.

BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 Genetic Mutations and Breast Cancer Risk

The BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes are genes that have a known mutation risk that is inherited from a parent that makes some women and men more likely to develop breast cancer. Some women who have a mutation to one of those genes will opt to have preemptive mastectomies, because women with the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 mutation have a much higher than average risk – about 70% - of developing breast cancer. However, the BRCA genetic mutation accounts for less than 10% of all breast cancers, which means the remainder of breast cancers develop from a combination of aging, hormonal, and environmental factors that cannot be easily predicted.

Mammogram Screenings Save Lives

Because there are so many breast cancers that cannot be predicted based on genetics, and because so many women who develop breast cancer have no family history or identifiable cause, mammogram screening remains the best tool for early detection. Mammogram screening does save lives and allow women (and men) to obtain the cancer treatment they need before the cancer has spread. Because of mammogram technology and better education about early detection, the rate of death from breast cancer has been steadily declining since the early 2000s.

Mammogram screening should begin by age 40 for most women and sooner for those with a family history or high risk. Whenever you decide to have a mammogram, visit PURE Mammography in the Smith Haven Mall today, no appointment necessary. You can also call 631-652-3424 or fill out the form on this page to pre-schedule an appointment or to learn more about PURE.

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