How much do you know about breast cancer and its risk factors? Take our quiz to find out and learn more, plus, where to go for more information.
TRUE OR FALSE: Women who began their menstrual cycles before age 12 are at higher risk for breast cancer.
Answer: TRUE. Other little-known risk factors: If you have no children, had your first child at 30 or older, or began menopause after 55.
How often should you do a BSE (breast self-exam)?
A. At least once a week
B. At least once a month
C. At least once every 3 months
Answer: B., at least once a month. Nearly 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-exams and with early detection the 5-year survival rate is 98%. To learn how to give yourself a self-exam, visit nationalbreastcancer.org.
TRUE OR FALSE: Men can’t get breast cancer.
Answer: FALSE. 1,700 men get diagnosed every year—and almost 80 percent of men who are at higher risk for breast cancer don’t even know that men can get breast cancer—so men should also give themselves regular breast self-exams and talk to their doctors if they notice any changes.
What’s the most effective method for diagnosing breast cancer?
A. Physical exam
Answer: C., Thermography, but a combination of all three is even better. You should still do monthly self exams, but studies show that thermography—a physiologic exam where a picture is taken of the heat that radiates from the breasts—can increase a woman’s survival rate 61 percent by detecting a pre-cancerous state years before it might be found by mammography, ultrasound, or physical exam.
TRUE OR FALSE: Having a family history of breast cancer means you will get it, too.
Answer: FALSE. Women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, but most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Still, if you have a mother, daughter, sister, or grandmother who had breast cancer, you should have a mammogram either five years before the age of their diagnosis, or starting at 35 years old.
Protect yourself: Learn more about breast cancer, including risks, myths, and how to cope if you or a loved one has been diagnosed at nationalbreastcancer.org.