October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer for women. According to the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, an estimated one out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
When found early, breast cancer is often treatable and survivable. You hear stories of survival every day.
What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month exists to raise awareness. It’s a time to:
- Spread the word on the importance of mammograms.
- Ask doctors and nurses to speak to women on the importance of early detection.
- Encourage middle-aged women (ages 40-49) to talk to their doctors about when and how often they should receive a mammogram.
- Organize events that raise breast cancer awareness and money for researching the cure.
What Does Breast Cancer Mean By the Numbers?
- In 2016, about 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States. That’s in addition to 61,000 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
- An estimated 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected in men this year. One out of every 1,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer.
- About 40,500 women in America died in 2015 from breast cancer, but death rates have been going down for 27 years. Survival rates are higher for women under 50. Research suggests that the decreases are because of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
- Women die more from breast cancer than any other cancer in the United States, except for lung cancer.
- Breast cancer is the second most diagnosed form of cancer. In 2015, breast cancer made up for about 30 percent of all cancer diagnoses.
- Breast cancer is more common in African American women under 45 than white women in the same age group. Also, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than any other race. In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than any other race.
- As of this year, there are over 2.8 million women in the United States who have a history with breast cancer. That number includes women who are currently being treated and women who have already been treated.
- Breast cancer is somewhat hereditary. A woman is at double the risk of breast cancer if she has a mother, sister or daughter who has had breast cancer, although 85 percent of women who get breast cancer have had no immediate family members diagnosed.
- The biggest risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and growing older.