What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin. In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.

Breast Cancer Fact & Figures/American Cancer Society

Breast Cancer Facts & Figures


In 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among US women, as well as an estimated 60,290 additional cases of in situ breast cancer.

That year, approximately 40,290 US women are expected to die from breast cancer. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.

Breast cancer incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, followed by African American women and are lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander women. In contrast, breast cancer death rates are highest for African American women, followed by non-Hispanic white women. Breast cancer death rates are lowest for Asian/Pacific Islander women. Breast cancer incidence and death rates also vary by state.

Cancer statistics such as these are presented in this updated edition of the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Facts and Figures. This publication provides updated cancer research facts about breast cancer, including incidence, mortality, and survival trends for breast cancer, as well as information on early detection, treatment, and factors that influence risk and survival.

Please note that any reproduction or re-use should credit the appropriate American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures publication and include a statement of copyright and identify the data source used.

These Breast Cancer Facts & Figures publications are available for free download as full-text PDF files.

The Handshake after a great show about Wanda's Journey as a Breast Cancer Survivor.

Wanda Meeks designer Tag that can be used for your home, office or any place you'd like too! This tag or placard will be a great gift for someone with cancer. And the good news is that she's giving away 10 for the asking!

Black Women's Health Imperative facts:

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Black Women and Breast Cancer

Surviving Breast Cancer through Early Detection and Diagnosis

The Issue

Nothing speaks more clearly to the shocking breast cancer health disparities than the fact that Black women are less likely than white women to get breast cancer, yet have a higher breast cancer death rate.  Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Black women and in 2010, the CDC reported that breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death for Black women aged 45--64 years. What was most alarming in this CDC report was that the breast cancer death rate for women aged 45--64 years was 60% higher for Black women than white women (56.8 and 35.6 deaths per 100,000, respectively).  (CDC: National Vital Statistics System: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm)

Why this is important for Black women

The growing breast cancer disparities that exist between Black women and white women are alarming. Although the overall lifetime risk of breast cancer is lower for Black women compared with white women, the death rates are higher. It is important to note that Black women also have a lower 5 year survival rate at 77% compared to that of 90% for white women. Contrary to prevailing beliefs, younger Black women up to age 44 have a higher incidence of breast cancer than white women, (U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality www.cdc.gov/uscs).

What Black women need to know?

Breast cancer tends to appear in Black women at a younger age and in more advanced forms. In fact, Black women are two times more likely to develop triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease which has fewer effective treatment options. Triple-negative breast cancers tend to grow and spread more quickly than most other types of breast cancer. We also are known to have denser breast, one of the strongest predictors of risk for breast cancer and also is a known factor limiting the sensitivity of a screening mammogram.  Mammograms of breasts with higher density have been described as harder to read and interpret than those of less dense breasts.  A small cancer can be concealed by dense breast tissue or by the overlap of normal breast structures.

Many women with early breast cancer have no symptoms.  That is why it is so crucial to get screened before symptoms have a chance to appear.   However, the most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. For this reason, it is important that you have any new breast mass or lump checked by a health care professional experienced in diagnosing breast diseases.

Other signs may include:

  • Swelling of all or part of the breast
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Pain in the breast or nipple
  • Thickening of the nipple or breast
  • Discharge other than breast milk


What the Imperative is doing

At the Black Women’s Health Imperative, we know that Black women have not benefited from the advances in breast cancer research and new technologies. It is our mission to raise questions, seek understanding, and call attention to what is happening to Black women.

Through our advocacy, policy and national and community-based initiatives, we are working to make eliminating breast cancer disparities among young Black women a public health priority. We do this by:

  • Educating women on the importance of early detection and quick diagnosis
  • Promoting routine breast self-exam (BSE) and clinical breast exam (CBE)
  • Advocating for screening guidelines that are responsive to the needs of Black women
  • Advocating for increased access to new screening tools and quality diagnosis and treatment services
  • Advocating and supporting policies and practices that call for early education and screening among younger women
    • Building leadership in communities to address breast health disparities
    • Engaging women across the country through surveys and focus groups; and listening to the issues and concerns of Black women related to breast cancer
    • Engaging researchers, clinicians, educators and survivors in ongoing dialogue to identify strategies for reducing breast health disparities
    • Working collectively in coalitions at the national and local levels to raise awareness of breast cancer issues for Black women
    • Supporting community organizations in identifying and implementing effective interventions for reducing breast cancer disparities


What Black Women Can Do: Detect. Diagnose. Survive

Early detection is critically important, especially for women at higher risk. For Black women who have been diagnosed at the earliest stage of breast cancer when the tumor is small and localized, early diagnosis can make a difference.

For most of us, early detection and diagnosis are attainable with a few easy steps:

  1. Have your provider show you how to perform monthly breast self-examination (BSE) and perform it faithfully at the same time each month.
  2. See your provider for a clinical breast examination (CBE) at least once a year. 
  3. Have regular mammograms. Since breast density is one of the strongest risk factors for Black women developing breast cancer, insist on digital mammography or some of the newer more advanced technologies that help detect tumors
  4. Learn more about what the Imperative is doing to make breast cancer disparities a priority through our national campaign to end breast cancer disparities, Moving Beyond Pink and sign up for becoming an advocate in your organization and community. 

Breast Cancer News

Published Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adding a newer test to digital mammograms can increase the detection rate for breast cancer and decrease nerve-racking false alarms, in which suspicious findings lead women to get extra scans that turn out normal, a study found.

Published Friday, October 4, 2013

Women won’t pay higher health bills simply for being women, and they will be able to get the medical care they need, particularly for breast cancer, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a leading women’s advocate says.

Published Thursday, October 3, 2013

White women 40 and older have traditionally had the highest rates of breast cancer in the United States, but rising rates among blacks have narrowed the gap in recent years, according to a new American Cancer Society report.

Published Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Genes play a role in breast cancer risk for some; lifestyle changes cut risk for many.

Published Saturday, April 6, 2013

Black breast cancer patients are more likely to die than white patients, regardless of the type of cancer, according to a new study. This suggests that the lower survival rate among black patients is not solely because they are more often diagnosed with less treatable types of breast cancer, the researchers said.

Published Thursday, March 7, 2013

Black breast cancer survivors seem more likely to develop heart failure than other women, a new study says. The increased risk among black women remained even after the researchers accounted for other factors, including age, high blood pressure, diabetes and the use of chemotherapy drugs or medicines to protect the heart -- called cardioprotective drugs.

Published Friday, March 1, 2013

Nearly one in four breast cancer patients has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder shortly after they receive their cancer diagnosis, and the risk is highest in black and Asian patients, a new study reveals.

Published Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cigarette smoking appears to increase the risk of breast cancer, especially when women start smoking early in life, new research indicates. The incidence of invasive breast cancer was 24 percent higher in current smokers and 13 percent higher in former smokers, compared to never smokers, the researchers found.

Published Monday, January 7, 2013

Dune Medical Devices, Inc., announced today that its breakthrough intra-operative tissue assessment tool for early-stage breast cancer surgery, the MarginProbe System, has received Premarket Approval (PMA) by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Published Thursday, December 6, 2012

Younger women with aggressive breast cancers often benefit more than older women when they undergo early, pre-operative chemotherapy, a new study finds.


Kind regards

Betty J. Lamarr

Magic Mineral Broth Recipe for Cancer Paitents

Rebecca Katz's Magic Mineral Broth Recipe

Home > Blog > Rebecca Katz's Magic Mineral Broth Recipe
Melanie and her mom
By Melanie Beckwith, Young Professionals Council

My family discovered the recipe for Magic Mineral Broth in Rebecca Katz’s Cancer Fighting Cookbook when my mother started treatment for melanoma. It became a staple in her diet during her seven-month battle with cancer and was sometimes the only thing that she could eat.

Our close family friend also sent me a copy of Rebecca Katz’s books, and I started cooking the recipes in San Francisco while my family cooked them for my mom in Kentucky. It was wonderful to connect with my mom through cooking during those difficult times and these recipes are still very special to me.

I think that we often show our love for each other through cooking and sharing meals together, so I’m exited to share this special recipe with our community.

Did you know Project Open Hand provides nutritious meals with love to clients who are battling more than 25 different types of cancers? Help support our nutrition services for critically ill neighbors by making a donation at www.openhand.org/donate.

Mineral Broth Recipe

Shared with permission from Rebecca Katz, www.rebeccakatz.com

“This is my Rosetta stone of soup, a broth that can be transformed to meet a myriad nutritional needs, serving as everything from a delicious sipping tea to the powerful base for more hearty soups and stews. So no matter what a person’s appetite, it can provide a tremendous nutritional boost. This rejuvenating liquid, chock-full of magnesium, potassium, and sodium, allows the body to refresh and restore itself. I think of it as a tonic, designed to keep you in tip-top shape.” – Rebecca Katz


(Makes 6 quarts)

  • 6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 unpeeled yellow onions, cut into chunks
  • 1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
  • 1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
  • 4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered
  • 1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered
  • 5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 8-inch strip of kombu
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 quarts cold, filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves. Fill the pot with the water to 2 inches below the rim, cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted.
  3. Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (remember to use a heat-resistant container underneath), then add salt to taste.
  4. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.

Prep Time: 10 minutes • Cook Time: 2 to 4 hours • MAKES 6 QUARTS
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 4 months.

Per Serving: Calories: 45; Total Fat: 0 g (0 g saturated, 0 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 11 g; Protein: 1 g; Fiber: 2 g; Sodium: 140 mg

Betty LaMarr, Hosting Medical Talk on KWAM990 AM Radio