In the 1970s, only 10 percent of women survived five years after a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. Today, because of research and the discovery of new treatments, this has increased to as much as 40 percent. Metastatic breast cancer is not a death sentence. The survival rate varies from person to person but some women live 10 or more years beyond diagnosis today. There are many emerging areas in metastatic breast cancer treatment which will likely make the survival rate even higher.
In the United States, the state of Oregon has the highest estimated breast cancer mortality rates among women, with 15 deaths per 100,000 women. This is a false assumption. The District of Columbia tops the list with a breast cancer mortality rate of 29 deaths per 100,000 women, according to Susan G. Komen. Oregon has 21.
Breast cancer occurs nearly 100 times more often in women than in men. It is estimated that 2,350 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 440 will die each year. By comparison, about 230,000 American women will be diagnosed and more than 40,000 will die, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among Hispanic women. It is also second among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women behind only lung cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Choosing not to breastfeed may increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Medical Daily reports other lifestyle factors that may increase risks for breast cancer include:
- Using birth control pills
- Consuming alcohol
- Being overweight
- Eating too late
- Working too late
The one major difference between treating men and women with breast cancer is that men respond much better to hormone therapy than women do. About 90 percent of male breast cancers have hormone receptors, meaning that hormone therapy can work in most men to treat the cancer, according to WebMD. Otherwise, the same treatments that are used in treating breast cancer in women—surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and biological therapy—are also used to treat men.
Lesbians & bisexual girls have an equal risk of breast cancer than other women. Their risk is actually greater, but it is not because of their sexual orientation. It is linked to lifestyle factors that are more prevalent among lesbians and bisexuals such as never having children (or having them later in life), obesity, and alcohol use.
Breast Cancer receives substantially more federal research funding than lung cancer. The National Institutes of Health spends about $685 million on breast cancer research, compared to $255 million on lung cancer. Nearly 72,000 women died from lung cancer last year and 40,000 died from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) as reported by STAT.
Evidence shows substantial benefit from manual breast exams, both self-exams and clinical exams. This is a false assumption. The ACS actually recommends against getting, or doing, manual breast exams because research does not support a clear benefit from them, and they can lead to unnecessary treatments. The ACS has also changed its mammogram guidelines. Now, they say women at average risk for breast cancer need to have yearly mammograms only from age 45 to 54, instead of starting at age 40. Beginning at age 55, ACS says every two years is sufficient.
Research focused on metastatic breast cancer claimed 50 percent of the $15 billion invested in breast cancer research from 2000 to 2013 by the major governmental and nonprofit funders from North America and the United Kingdom. This is also a false assumption. It actually made up 7 percent. The field of metastatic breast cancer research is relatively small, according to a report by the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance.