The facts on breast cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month


News and events — visually

A typical fullness, or change in shape of breast


Estimated number of women in Canada that will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.

Fat Nipple
women that will be diagnosed with breast cancer every week.

Stage 0
5-year survival rate: 100% Abnormal or precancerous cells are found in the lining of the milk lobules or ducts. The abnormal cells have not spread into nearby breast tissue.

(pectoralis major)

A lump in the breast

450 On average, number of Canadian 102
will die from it
On average, number of Canadian women that will die of breast cancer every week.

Stage 1
5-year survival rate: 98% Cancer cells have spread into the breast tissue, but not spread beyond the breast. The tumour is no more than 2 cm across.

Stage 2
5-year survival rate: 88% The tumour is 2 cm or less and has spread to a small number of lymph nodes, or the tumour is 2-5 cm, but is not at the lymph nodes.

Lobes Ducts Dilated section
Skin dimpling or changes in skin colour/texture
(to hold milk)

Stage 3
5-year survival rate: 56-49% The diameter of the tumour may be smaller or larger than 5 cm, but has spread to the lymph nodes. The nodes start sticking to each other or to the surrounding tissue.

Rib cage


Clear or bloody discharge from nipple

Cancer cells may start within the ducts, which is the most common form (ductal carcinoma) or in the lobules (lobular carcinoma).
Weight: Being obese or overweight Diet/lifestyle: Lack of physical activity, a diet high in saturated fat and more than two alcoholic drinks per day Family history: A family history of breast cancer — particularly a mother or sister 65+ Age: Most women diagnosed are aged 65+

most severe

Percent of all new cancer cases in women, 2011

Stage 4
5-year survival rate: 16% Regardless of the tumour size, the cancer cells have spread to the lungs, liver, brain, bones or other parts of the body.

Change in nipple, like pulling in of the nipple

In the shower With your fingers flat, move gently over the breast, using the right hand to examine the left breast and the left hand to check the right breast. Check for lumps, hard knots or thickening.

Start with your arms by your sides and inspect your breasts. Next, raise your arms overhead — check for any changes: Swelling, dimpling or changes in the nipple. Lastly, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex the chest muscles.

Lying down Place a pillow under your right shoulder and put your right arm behind your head. Flatten your left hand and press gently in small circular motions, covering the entire breast; use varying pressure. Squeeze the nipple to check for discharge and lumps. Repeat on the left side.

One in nine women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime. One in 29 will die of it.

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