October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Recommended Breast Cancer support sites.
10 Famous Breast Cancer survivors.
Diagnosed in 2009 at 52 Saunders did have a tough recovery period, Saunders entered remission in July 2010.
She wrote about her experience and how close friends, family and her sense of humour helped her come through it all smiling in her autobiography, Bonkers: My Life in Laughs
Diagnosed 2002 with breast cancer at age 73 during the filming of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” So determined to not let it interfere with her work, she persisting through the filming, even during chemotherapy.
PA: Press Association
Dame Maggie Smith
Diagnosed 2008 with breast cancer at age 73 during the filming of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” So determined to not let it interfere with her work, she persisting through the filming, even during chemotherapy.
Labour MP Dawn Butler
Diagnosed 2021 MP for Brent Central, 52, she underwent a mastectomy
Both Ms Butler's, mum and sister also survived breast cancer.
Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44, in 1992, with treatment needed again in 2013 and 2018. She has been a firm & positive voice for the advocacy of women experiencing breast cancer.
Sadly she died in 2022
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch
MP for Chatham and Aylesford. Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and her treatment finished in 2021
Diagnosed 2022 and deciding to go public after the death of Olivia Newton-John.
She underwent a lumpectomy to have the cancerous tissue and five lymph nodes removed.
Womack has recently started chemotherapy, we wish her well in her journey to recovery.
This Grammy Award-winning American musician was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, and is now cancer free.
Diagnosed in 2002, she privately treated her cancer with a lumpectomy and radiation before publicly announcing her diagnosis and becoming an ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 2008. Her mother is also a breast cancer survivor.
Diagnosed in 2005 age 39 just months after being initially cleared.
Diagnosed in 1992, she underwent a partial mastectomy and chemotherapy before becoming cancer free for 25 years.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to divide and grow in an abnormal way. Breast cancer is not one single disease. There are several types of breast cancer. It can be diagnosed at different stages and can grow at different rates.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Around 55,000 (49,600 women & 400 men) are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
The biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer are getting older, being female and, for a few, having a significant family history of the disease.
Just over 80% of breast cancers occur in women who are over the age of 50.
Different treatments are offered depending on what type of cancer.
Earlier detection and better treatments mean that survival rates after a diagnosis of breast cancer are improving. More than 8 out of 10 survive breast cancer beyond five years. More than three quarters of people survive it beyond 10 years. It’s thought that around 550,000 people are alive in the UK who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Facts about breast cancer
The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8 in women, this means that 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime– it also means that 7 out of 8 women won’t develop breast cancer.
Estimated risk of developing breast cancer according to age:
Risk up to age 29, 1 in 2,000.
Risk up to age 39, 1 in 215.
Risk up to age 49, 1 in 50.
Risk up to age 59, 1 in 22.
Risk up to age 69, 1 in 13.
Lifetime risk, 1 in 8.
Both women and men get breast cancer, men can get breast cancer too. Every year about 400 men are diagnosed in the UK. Older people are more likely to get breast cancer than younger people. After gender (being female), age is the strongest risk factor for developing breast cancer – the older the person, the higher the risk. Around 81% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50.
What is breast screening?
Breast screening (mammography) is an x-ray examination of the breasts. It may help detect breast cancer before there are any signs or symptoms. The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed the more effective treatment may be.
Because breast cancer is more common in women who are over the age of 50, women aged 50 to 70 are invited for routine breast screening every three years. Also younger women’s breast tissue can be dense, which makes the mammogram image less clear so normal changes or benign (not cancer) breast conditions can be harder to identify.
The age range for the screening programme is being extended to 47-73 by the end of 2016 in England. Going for breast screening will not prevent breast cancer from developing, but it may find a breast cancer sooner – before it can be felt.
Most cases of breast cancer don’t run in the family
Most cases of breast cancer happen by chance. Less than 10% of breast cancers are caused by inheriting a faulty gene.
Because breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, it is not unusual to have one or two people in an extended family who have had breast cancer. For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not increase their risk of developing the disease.
If you are worried about whether your family history of breast cancer might mean your own risk is increased, speak to your GP (local doctor).
Breast cancer can affect women, regardless of the size of their breasts
Breast cancer can affect women with small breasts, medium breasts, large breasts – any size breasts. Breast size is irrelevant.
Finding a lump in your breast doesn’t mean you have breast cancer
There are several benign (not cancer) conditions that can occur in the breast and may cause a lump. Also many women will experience lumpy breasts just before their period. This is a normal response to changing hormones and often the lump or lumpiness disappears after the period. However, if this doesn’t go away, it’s important to get it checked out by a doctor. Any new lump should always be assessed by a doctor, however old you are. Don’t be afraid that you’re wasting the doctor’s time.