October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign dedicated to increasing awareness of the disease, helping those affected through early detection, education and support, and fundraising for breast cancer research. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries in an effort to advocate mammography as the most effective course of action when fighting breast cancer. Although the month is coming to a close, it’s not too late to participate in spreading awareness of breast cancer and helping those in need.
Breast Cancer Stats
- About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime
- As on January 2018, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the nation
- An estimated 266,120 new invasive breast cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in women this year, while 2,550 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in men
- Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. have decreased since 2000, dropping by 7 percent between 2002 to 2003 alone. It is suggested that this might be due to reduced used of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
- For women in the U.S. breast cancer death rates are higher than those of other cancers
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women
- About 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of it, but a woman’s risk nearly doubles if she has a mother, sister or daughter who has been diagnosed
Early detection is crucial to treating breast cancer, and screening tests such as mammograms and breast MRIs are the leading recommended detection methods. Speaking to your doctor about these tests is important, as well as understanding your individual risk factors and the role of genetics in breast cancer.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. has many opportunities to get involved and help educate your loved ones about the disease:
- You can download their free symptom guide
- Share a story of how you or a loved one has been affected by breast cancer
- Donate to help provide mammograms for women in need
- Start or join a fundraiser or
- Partner with a nationally-recognized charity
Learn more about how you can get involved and raise hope for those dealing with breast cancer by visiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation website.