Breast Cancer  

Breast Cancer Facts    

In 2020, an estimated  276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States. In 2020 in Iowa alone, 2,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and nearly 390 will die from this disease. Only lung cancer causes more cancer deaths among Iowa women than breast cancer.


Breast Cancer Symptoms

It is important to see your healthcare provider if you have any of the warning signs of breast cancer:

  • A new lump/thickening or anything that feels different in or around the breasts.
  • Swelling or tenderness, pain or dimpling of the breasts or nipples.
  • Puckering, redness, ulcerations or scaly skin on the nipples or breasts.
  • One or both of the nipples are turned inward.
  • Any spontaneous discharge or leaking from a nipple or both nipples if you are not breast feeding.
  • Change in the size or the shape of the breast 

When breast cancer is found early, a person has more treatment choices and a better chance of recovery.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

The two major risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and aging.

  • Breast cancer can happen at any age, but it becomes more common as women get older.
  • Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have not family history of the disease. 
  • One or more first degree relatives with breast cancer.
  • Most breast lumps are not cancer.

Other Risk Factors To Be Aware Of:

  • A personal or family history on both sides of your family (maternal/paternal) of breast cancer in a first degree relative. Learn more about family history and breast cancer here. 
  • Beginning menstruation before age 12 or starting menopause after age 55.
  • Using combined hormone replacement therapy (combined estrogen and progestin).
  • Weighing too much, especially after menopause.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • Never giving birth or having a first baby after age 30.

Having a risk factor for breast cancer does not mean that you will get the disease. It is important to be aware of the risk factors and to practice prevention and receive early detection screening services. 

Take this High Risk Quiz to see if you may need to be screened more often for breast or cervical cancer. 

Breast Cancer Early Detection and Prevention

Early detection could save your life. Breast cancer found early means early treatment. Earlier treatment can mean a better outcome. There are three methods than can be used to find breast cancer early.

  • Have a mammogram every year.
  • Have a clinical breast exam by your healthcare provider.
  • Know your normal - report changes to your healthcare provider. 

Take an active role in your health, schedule your mammogram today!

Worried about cost?
The Care for Yourself Program is here to help. You may qualify for a FREE mammogram! 
Call 1-866-339-7909 to check your eligibility and to enroll.