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Find out the latest breast cancer facts and statistics.
There are many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer, so regularly checking your breasts for anything different or new is important.
The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. Getting to know what your breasts look and feel like normally means it’s easier to spot any unusual changes and check them with your doctor.
Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
Over a third (39%) of women in the UK do not check their breasts regularly for potential signs of breast cancer.
According to a YouGov survey commissioned by Breast Cancer Now, a third (33%) of those who do check their breasts for possible signs and symptoms don’t feel confident that they would notice a change.
Asked what stops or prevents them from checking their breasts more regularly, over half (53%) forgetting to check, over a third (39%) not being in the habit of checking, a fifth (19%) not feeling confident in checking their breasts, not knowing how to check (16%), not knowing what to look for (12%) and being worried about finding a new or unusual change (11%).
Checking your breasts only takes a few minutes. Everyone will have their own way of touching and looking for changes, but remember to check the whole breast area, including your upper chest and armpits.
There’s no special technique and you don’t need training. Find out more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
There are many different factors that can affect your chances of developing breast cancer. There’s no one single reason – it results from a combination of the way we live our lives, our genes and our surrounding environment.
Everyone can take steps to lower their chances of getting breast cancer by making small healthy changes and living well now, including drinking less alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping physically active.
Some factors are outside our control, including:
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women the UK with one woman diagnosed every 10 minutes.
Around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK.
One in seven women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month nearly 5,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer in men is rare with just 370 new cases in the UK each year, compared to around 55,000 new cases in women.
For many the overwhelming emotional and physical effects of the disease can be long-lasting.
Every year around 11,500 women and 85 men die from breast cancer in the UK – that’s nearly 1,000 deaths each month, 31 each day or one every 45 minutes.
Breast cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women under 50 in the UK.
Secondary (or metastatic) breast cancer is when breast cancer spreads from the breast to other parts of the body, becoming incurable. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to the bones, brain, lungs or liver.
While it cannot be cured, there are treatments that can help control certain forms of the disease for some time and relieve symptoms to help people live well for as long as possible.
There are an estimated 35,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK. In around 5% of women, breast cancer has already spread by the time it is diagnosed.
For support and information, call Breast Cancer Now's free Helpline on 0808 800 6000