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Interesting facts about breast cancer

There is a lot of information about breast cancer unknown to most people, and in this post we explain some facts that we find very interesting about this disease.

Fact 1: Breast cancer has been called the “nun’s disease” because of the high number of nuns affected.

Women who have never had children have a higher risk of dying from breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers, compared to mothers, as a woman's risk of contracting these cancers increases with the number of menstrual cycles she experiences. For this reason, nuns for life have had a higher risk of suffering from these cancers.

Fact 2: Breast cancer occurs in both dogs and cats; it tends to be far more aggressive in cats.

Contrary to what is normally thought, breast cancer is not an exclusive disease in humans, since it can also be suffered by some animals, such as dogs or cats.

It is more common in dogs than cats, but it tends to be more aggressive in cats than dogs.

Fact 3: Wasp dung was used as a treatment for breast cancer.

One of the ancient remedies for breast cancer is the feces of insects.

An Egyptian papyrus recommended a mixture of cow brain and wasp dung to apply to breast tumors for four days. Until the middle ages, insect feces have been considered one of the most advanced treatments for breast cancer. Fortunately, treatments have come a long way since then.

Fact 4: The first record of a mastectomy offered for breast cancer was over 1,500 years ago.

The first record of a breast mastectomy was in A.D. 548 on Theodora, Empress of Byzantine. Significant progress in our understanding and treatment of breast cancer in recent decades has seen a dramatic reduction in the use of ‘radical’ mastectomy (where the breast, underlying chest muscle and lymph nodes are removed), which was the standard surgical approach to breast cancer right up until the 1960s.

Fact 5 : Men get breast cancer too. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.

Many people think that breast cancer is exclusive to women, they do not realize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop this cancer as well. But breast cancer is less common in men because the cells in the breast ducts are less developed than those in women and because they normally have lower levels of female hormones that affect the growth of breast cells.

Fact 6: Breast cancer is more common in the left breast than the right

The left breast is 5 - 10% more likely to develop cancer than the right breast. The left side of the body is also roughly 5% more prone to melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Nobody is exactly sure why this is.

Fact 7:Most women now survive breast cancer (at least in developed countries).

In recent years huge progress has been made in breast cancer. In fact, breast cancer management across risk assessment, prevention, surgery, radiation, and other treatment, has changed dramatically. Death rates from breast cancer in more developed countries have been declining in recent years, and now survival rates are 80% or over in countries like the US, Sweden and Japan. However, survival rates remain below 40% in low-income countries.

Fact 8 :Shift work may increase risk of breast cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently concluded that women who worked night shifts for 30 years or more were twice as likely to develop breast cancer. However, women who work nights are advised not to panic. It's worth noting that no link was found between an increased risk of breast cancer and periods of night work that were less than 30 years.

*Please note that we are not in a position to give you medical advice. Every case is different and every woman needs specific care. You can refer to your physician if you are seeking medical consultation.