October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and while breast cancer awareness has grown in recent years, there is still much to learn about this disease. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, and about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Understanding what invasive breast cancer is and how to prevent it can help save lives.
What You Should Know About Invasive Breast Cancer
Invasive breast cancer is a cancer that has begun to spread from where it first began to other parts of the breast. This type of cancer is particularly dangerous because it’s more likely to spread to other areas of your body. It’s also more difficult to treat than non-invasive breast cancer.
The following are some of the risk factors for developing this type of breast cancer that you should know about:
- Age: The older you are, the greater your risk.
- Family history: If you have a family member who has had breast cancer, you have a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Genetics: Certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Race: Caucasian women are more prone to getting breast cancer than African-American women. However, African-American women tend to be more likely to die from it.
- Certain medical conditions: Women with certain medical conditions, such as radiation therapy to the breast or chest, are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Obesity: Women who are obese have a higher risk of developing and dying from breast cancer.
Treating Breast Cancer Early
The good news is that invasive breast cancer can be treated, and the earlier it is detected, the better the chances of survival. Women should perform regular breast self-exams and get yearly mammograms starting at age 40. If you notice anything unusual, such as a lump, discharge, or breast size or shape change, be sure to see your doctor in California immediately.