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Moses Cone Health
Countdown to the Race

Breast Cancer Awareness

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the No. 1 cancer diagnosis in women and the second leading cause of cancer death (lung cancer is first). An estimated 226,870 new cases of breast cancer are discovered nationwide every year. In North Carolina, there are 5,870 new cases annually and there are 1,090 deaths from this disease.

The good news is that 2 million women are living as breast cancer survivors in the United States today, thanks to early detection.

Here are some myths and facts about breast cancer:

MYTH: Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.

TRUTH: Eight out of 10 lumps are benign, or not cancerous. If you discover a persistent lump in your breast or any changes in breast tissue, it is very important that you see a physician immediately. Take charge of your own health by monthly self-exams, regular visits to the doctor and regularly scheduled mammograms.

MYTH: A mammogram can cause breast cancer to spread.

TRUTH: An X-ray of the breast is called a mammogram. The X-ray and the pressure on the breast from the X-ray machine cannot cause cancer to spread. Do not let tales of other people's experiences keep you from having a mammogram. Base your decision on your physician's recommendation and ask the physician any questions you may have about the mammogram.

MYTH: Having a family history of breast cancer means you will get breast cancer.

TRUTH: While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. If you have a mother, daughter, sister or grandmother who had breast cancer, you should have a mammogram five years before the age of their diagnosis.

Click here for more information on breast cancer and treatment options.

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