Well, as many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Around the country, pink is displayed as a reminder that we all can be touched by breast cancer. I know each of us is inundated with statistics regarding this disease frequently, but just for a moment, I would like to share some more. For my male readers, please encourage the women you know (family, friends, wives, daughters, cousins, hairdressers -although that might be a bit uncomfortable) to get a yearly mammogram if they are of an age to do so. If they are not, please make sure they have talked with their doctor to make sure that they are not a risk situation. For my female readers, please do monthly self-exams. I know, I know, I am a very shy person and this is a topic I am blushing about while writing, but we must take care of ourselves. How many of my readers have children? Families? Friends? A really cute dog or cat? Don’t you want to be around to have fun memories for ages to come with them? Then, get over the fear, or shame, or hesitation and take control of your health…
Did you know:
- About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. (Think about it… statistically speaking, think of you and 7 other friends… according to the numbers one of you could get breast cancer!)
- About 39,840 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2010 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness. (While the number has been going down, even one death is too many!)
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- More than 1 in 4 cancers in women (about 28%) are breast cancer.
- In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. (That is a HUGE number! Let’s work to keep that number going up!)
- A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer
- About 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
I know these statistics can be scary, but sometimes we all need to be scared into action. Please, take action and let’s save some lives!