About Breast Cancer

• Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in Scotland

• In 2008, 4232 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in Scotland i.e. every day at least 11 women are given a diagnosis of breast cancer

• In 2009, 1002 women and 8 men died of breast cancer in Scotland

• Breast cancer is a “modern” disease; at the beginning of the 20th century, breast cancer was rare

• In the past 20 years, there has been a 51% increase in the number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer

• Five-year survival rates continue to improve year on year. Over 80 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will survive for more than five years

• Breast cancer is no longer the most common form of cancer from which women in Scotland die. This has now been overtaken by lung cancer

• The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is dependant on many variable factors. Lifestyle factors play an important role in increasing your risk of breast cancer, this includes the age at which you had your first period; the number of full-term pregnancies you have had; whether you breast fed your children; the age at which you started the menopause. Lifestyle factors may account for up to 50 per cent of your risk

• Following a healthy lifestyle i.e. a balanced diet, daily exercise, limiting alchohol consumption etc makes sense for many reasons but does not guarantee a life free from breast cancer

• Health Promotion agencies advise us to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day and to limit our intake of alcohol but neglect to mention the growing body of evidence linking the chemicals in our environment/homes/workplace with breast cancer