• Breast cancer is the leading killer of women ages 35 to 54.
  • Breast cancer in women under 50 is more aggressive and virulent.
  • 70% of breast cancers occur in women without a family history of the disease.
  • Despite modern technology, breast cancer mortality has not been significantly reduced in more than 40 years. The main reasons for this are:
    1. 90% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed with a palpable tumor size.
    2. Large numbers of women are without screening tests until a palpable lesion is felt.
    3. As a stand-alone screening test, mammography misses approximately 20% of all cancerous tumors (false negatives).
    4. The majority of breast cancers revealed by mammography are not detected early enough.
  • 25% of women die within the first 5 years and 40% within 10 years of their diagnosis.
  • Over 90% of women diagnosed with Stage 1 cancers are alive 5 years later, unfortunately only 58% of breast cancers are diagnosed at this stage.
  • Most cancers take 8-10 years to grow to 1 cm in size, but only 1.5 years more to grow to 3.5 cm.
  • No one procedure or method of imaging is solely adequate for breast cancer screening.

Sources: 1997-2000 Index Medicus – ACS, NEJM, JNCI, Lancet, BMJ, J Breast


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