In this final part of our breast cancer awareness series, I will be sharing how to understand the statisitcs.
1 in 8 is a lifetime risk.
You may have heard a scary statistic that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. While that is indeed scary, it is also a little misleading.
1 in 8 is a lifetime risk so what that means is that your risk of developing breast cancer increases with advancing age. So at age 40 your risk of developing breast cancer is about 1 in 250, at 50 years of age the risk is about 1 in 50 and at the age of 80 your risk is about 1 in 8.
Breast cancer is uncommon in young women and sometimes doctors will dismiss your complaint of a lump because of this. Be persistent; if the lump does not fluctuate with your menstrual cycle, is hard or fixed, or there is associated overlying skin changes, insist on being imaged by a radiologist. This also includes symptoms such as nipple changes or nipple discharge or something just doesn't feel quite right, insist on getting it checked out further.
Be your own best advocate.