All women are at risk of getting breast cancer and as you age your risk increases. On average, one in seven women will get breast cancer over a 90-year life span.
Breast cancer is a growth or irregular cells within the breast. It is not a one disease, but a group of diseases that can develop in any of the ducts, which carry milk to the nipple.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and its cause is unknown. We truly believe that every dollar Canadians donate to research brings us one step closer to discovering the causes of breast cancer, better methods to prevent and detect it, treatments that are more effective and improving the quality of life for survivors.
- It is estimated that 23,400 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,100 will die from it.
- Approximately sixty-four Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day
- Approximately fourteen Canadian women will die of breast cancer every day
- One in nine women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime (age 90) and one in twenty-eight will die from it.
- It is expected that 190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 55 will die from it.
- Breast cancer death rates have declined in all ages combined and in every age group since the mid 1990s.
Source: Canadian Cancer Society / National Cancer Institute of Canada; Canadian Cancer Statistics 2010, Toronto, Canada Updated May 2011
It is important, that women between the ages of 50 to 69 have a mammogram every two years. Recent Canadian studies have shown that a high percentage of women are not accessing this service. It is important, if you are in this age group to consult your doctor or call your breast-screening program to make an appointment. Other age groups should consult a doctor to discuss their individual breast cancer risks and to determine when a mammogram is appropriate for them.
Although breast cancer is generally a disease for older women, a significant number of with women under the age of forty is rising. Those young women represent only 5% of all breast cancerpatients however; most of themare likely to be diagnosed at a relatively late stage of cancer; and more likely to die of their disease. Even if cured, suffer they are more prone to have psychological problems. .Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto has a special clinical and research clinic that is focused on the needs of younger women with breast cancer. To learn more visit http://rethinkbreastcancer.com/
Research also indicates that these patients long for more peer support, assistance within the treatment system and information on issues specific to them, such as early menopause, fertility and breast reconstruction.
All women are different, so are their breasts. If you experience anything unusual for you, consult your doctor immediately. The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump, mass or thickening of the breast tissue. Some women report sensitivity in this area. Other problems may include pain, bleeding or other discharge from the nipple, changes in breast shape, generalized swelling of the entire breast, or the irritation or dimpling of the breast skin
Discuss with your doctor before starting any drug therapy, as treatments for breast cancer are very individual.
In Canada the best places to go for a mammogram is at the Provincial Screening Centers. A screening mammogram is the quickest, safest and easiest way to find out if there is a problem. At these centers, they will also show you how to perform a self-breast examination.
For information on Mammogram Centers, and assistance in making healthy food choices: www.cbcn.ca(Canada) www.breastcancer.org(USA)
For information on The Young Adult Cancer Program in Toronto:
Vision: To empower young adults diagnosed with cancer to live and love life.
Mission: To build a community of young adults diagnosed with cancer that provides information, support, skills, and opportunity.Values: These are not just a collection of warm-fuzzy value statements, they represent the combined energy, of heart and mind with which we approach our responsibilities and use as our guide through challenge and triumph.
Hope – They were founded on hope and from an experience that at times appeared to have no hope. Our very existence gives hope to others. We will always remember that our energy and actions can have a profound impact on others and that we all are messengers of hope regardless of our position within the organization or the task we are performing.
Independence – They have always been a financially independent organization with diversified sources of funding, this allows us truly authentic decision making and control over our growth and development ensuring that the needs of young adults with cancer are met in a manner we feel is most effective.
Service – They aim to provide the best possible experience for those that deal with us, whether they are young adults using our programs, donors supporting our programs or volunteers helping in any variety of ways. It is paramount these stakeholders have a positive experience and our duty to ensure it.