4 Facts About Breast Cancer That Will Surprise You

breast cancer pink ribbon
Sex, Self

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but there are key facts women aren't aware of.

Every October, or Breast Cancer Awareness Month as it's known, the little pink ribbons come out in droves. We get inundated with info about BSEs (breast self-exams), annual mammos, and all the latest technology out there for breast cancer prevention. And it's amazing, but sometimes the little-known but surprising facts about breast cancer aren't the ones most publicized. Yet, they might be extremely helpful. Here, four stunning facts about breast cancer women of all ages should know ...

1. Dense breasts up breast cancer risk. No need to panic, but having dense breasts increases — as much as four- or five-fold — a woman's chances of developing breast cancer, say experts. Our breasts tend to get less glandular as we grow older, but a significant percentage of postmenopausal women still has dense breasts. Therefore, it's pretty much imperative that you discuss your breast density with your doc. He or she can help recommend screenings that, in addition to your mammogram, may be more beneficial to you, such as ultrasound. The Stir: Jennifer Aniston Really Is Dull, Just Like Brad Pitt Said

2. Hormone therapy isn't doing you any favors, either. As use of synthetic HRT (like Premarin) has dropped, breast cancer rates have, as well. One study from the Journal of the American Medical Association even found that women on combined hormone therapy — that's estrogen plus progestin (lab-made progesterone), which describes a menopausal drug called Prempro and most birth control pills — were twice as likely to die from breast cancer compared to women receiving a placebo. And other research shows women with a strong family history of breast cancer may have up to an 11 times higher risk of breast cancer if they have ever taken the pill.

For more facts you didn't know about breast cancer, visit The Stir: 4 Surprising Facts Women Should Know About Breast Cancer

Written by Maressa Brown for The Stir.

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