Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection

October is breast cancer awareness month, an international campaign focused on raising awareness of the disease and fundraising for breast cancer research. The importance of early detection and awareness is paramount, as the American Cancer Society affirms that between the late 1980s and 2014, these factors—along with better treatments—led to a drop of 38 percent in women’s probability of dying from breast cancer, meaning that 297,300 fewer breast cancer deaths happened during that period.

Risk Factors

  • Research indicates that smoking may increase risk of breast cancer
  • Obesity increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer
  • Women who have 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day have a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who don’t drink

Breast Cancer Statistics

  • After lung cancer, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women
  • The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is 1 in 37 in the U.S.
  • According to American Cancer Society 2017 estimates:
    • about 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women
    • Approximately 40,610 women will die from breast cancer
    • African-American women have a 42 percent higher breast cancer death rate than white women

There are various ways to help, from donating to cancer organizations and research to helping a friend with rides or a place to stay during treatment. When donating, it’s crucial to ensure you are contributing to a reputable organization and that you know how your money will be utilized; Charity Navigator is a helpful resource for this.

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