Understanding Your Risk of Breast Cancer
There’s a lot of chatter about breast cancer risk, but what does it all really mean? It’s important first to understand the concept of “risk” and know about breast cancer risk factors.
Rethink Breast Cancer aims to educate and empower young women to understand the complex concept of risk. Young women have a tendency to overestimate their risk for developing breast cancer. Breast cancer is often talked about in the media and the statistic that says 1 in 9 women will develop invasive breast cancer is well known. Many young women misinterpret this to mean that, on any given day, they and the women they know have a 1-in-9 risk of developing the disease.
In reality, about 1 in 9 women in Canada — 11%, or about 11 out of every 100 — can expect to develop breast cancer over the course of an entire lifetime (the stat is closer to 1 in 8 in the US). In Canada, an average lifetime for women is about 90 years. So, it’s more accurate to say that 1 in 9 women in Canada who reach the age of 90 can expect to develop breast cancer.