Most Breast Cancer Occurs in Women Over Age 50

Cheryl McDonald

| 2 min read

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer kills more women than any other type of cancer except lung cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, the best results for successfully treating breast cancer depend on early detection, when it’s most treatable.
Most breast cancers occur in women over age 50, according to the National Cancer Institute. From ages 50 to 59, a woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 1 in 37.
According to a WebMD article, “While harmless lumps may come and go with the menstrual cycle in younger women, any new lump that appears after menopause requires a doctor’s prompt attention.”
The good news is that it’s easier for doctors to detect breast cancer in women who have gone through menopause. That’s because of the postmenopausal change in breast tissue density.
And here’s another good reason to keep your focus on fitness through good nutrition and daily physical activity: Research studies indicate your chance of developing breast cancer after menopause is higher if you’re overweight.
Men also get breast cancer, and it kills about 450 men each year. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. But the same prevention guidelines apply to men. Early detection is the best defense, and maintaining a healthy weight will also reduce your chances of getting cancer.
We’re posting breast cancer survivor stories all this week on A Healthier Michigan. We invite you to comment or share your own story as new stories are posted each day.
Photo: Beverly & Pack

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.