What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that is found in the breast(s). Cancer is caused by abnormal cell growth which invades the tissues of the breast(s). Breast cancer cells can form a tumor that is often seen on x-rays or noticeable lumps.

What Causes Breast Cancer?

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. While some women may have a family history of breast cancer, others may not fully understand why they developed breast cancer. There are certain risk factors that have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer:

  • Gender – women are much more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than men
  • Age – Being over the age of 55 increases one’s chance of developing breast cancer
  • Genetics – Having someone diagnosed with breast cancer in your immediate family puts you at a higher risk of developing breast cancer in the future
  • Previous Breast Cancer Occurrence – if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer again or in the other breast in the future
  • BRCA – Mutations within the BRCA gene can increase your risk of breast cancer. This is determined through genetic testing, which is encourage if you have a family history of the disease.
  • Dense Breasts – Individuals with dense breast tissue are at higher risk, as having dense breast tissue can make lumps harder to detect.
  • Poor Diet – having a poor diet is one lifestyle factor that can increase your risk of breast cancer and other diseases. A healthy diet can reduce your chance of breast cancer by up to 40%.


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Being a Support System

Everyone handles a breast cancer diagnosis differently, but it is important to be as supportive as possible. It may be difficult for a loved one to ask for help or even talk about their diagnosis. Offering practical help is the best way to make things easier on your loved one.

  • Educate yourself on their cancer diagnosis.

  • Support their decisions when it comes to treatment.

  • Include them in normal daily activities, to help keep their sense of normalcy.

  • Prepare meals for days when they are not feeling well.

  • Run errands for them and even pick up their prescriptions.

  • Send a thoughtful Card of Hope.

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