Feature Image by Angiola Harry

Breast cancer is among the most common cancers, affecting 13% of American women, which is why it’s important to learn about breast cancer and how to prevent it. While most people have heard about breast cancer, there’s a lot about it that you don’t often hear about. Here are some facts you might not know about breast cancer but should. 

You can get breast cancer even if it doesn’t run in your family
“Breast cancer is seen as something that is hereditary, but this is not always true,” says Giuseppe Aragona, MD, general practitioner and family doctor at Prescription Doctor. “There are many people who develop breast cancer when they get older, and it is not something that they have in the family.”

Breast cancer risk increases with age
About one in three breast cancer cases involves someone in their 70s, says Aragona. However, it’s recommended to start getting mammograms in your 40s because it can happen earlier on. 

A number of genes are related to breast cancer
You most often hear about the BRCA gene, which is connected to 5 to 10% of breast cancers. But a variety of genes, such as CHEK2 and PALB2, also have mutations that could increase your risk of breast cancer, says breast cancer surgeon DrPeter BeitschMD.

Breast cancer can look many different ways
You may have been taught to check for lumps on your breasts, but breast cancer can also manifest in the form of nipple discharge, changes in the skin, differences in the size of the breasts, or a mass under the arm, says Dr. Jane Mendez, chief of breast surgery at Miami Cancer Institute.

A lot of things purported to cause breast cancer probably don’t
It seems like everything puts you at risk for breast cancer these days, but fortunately, a lot of these claims are unfounded, says Mendez. For example, caffeine, deodorant, cell phones, alcohol, and bras are all unlikely to cause breast cancer.

As always, consult your doctor or physician with any additional questions you have about breast cancer.

xx, The FabFitFun Team