According to BreastCancer.org, one in eight women, or about 12 percent of the female population, will eventually be diagnosed with breast cancer. It is true that the incidence rate of cancer has decreased over the past two decades, and early diagnosis and treatment have helped reduce the death toll associated with breast cancer. Even with this, however, it is still expected there will be over 270,000 new cases diagnosed in 2020.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is an ideal time to discover more about this deadly disease that devastates the lives of so many. In addition to learning about breast cancer, you should consider what you could do to help spread awareness and fight the disease. With proper education, you can do a lot.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer affliction diagnosed in women in the US. Breast cancer does occur in men, although at about one-tenth the rate as compared to women. Unfortunately, risks of breast cancer seem to increase with age. Estimated rates by age are as follows,
- 0.44% (1 in 227) by age 30
- • 1.47% (1 in 68) by age 40
- • 2.38% (1 in 42) by age 50
- • 3.56% (1 in 28) by age 60
- • 3.82% (1 in 26) by age 70
Greater personal risk is tied to additional factors like dense breast tissue, Bodyweight, Ethnicity, Personal health, Family history, BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations
Building awareness is one of the most effective ways to decrease deaths related to breast cancer. When women are aware of their family history, when they conduct frequent mammograms in accordance with doctor recommendations, and when they undergo genetic testing to check for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, they have the best opportunity for early diagnosis and life-saving treatment.
The risk of developing breast cancer can be reduced through proper education and preventive measures like:
- Quitting smoking and avoiding other known carcinogens
- • Healthy habits regarding diet and exercise
- • Taking medications to treat precancerous conditions or prevent the onset of certain cancers
Awareness campaigns for Breast Cancer Awareness Month have yielded promising results, according to a six-year study by the peer-reviewed journal BMC Cancer. The study found that online activity, like Google searches related to breast cancer, increased significantly during the month of October. In addition, broader awareness may be a contributing factor in fundraising efforts aimed at cancer education, helping patients, and funding new research. The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. has reported a rise in funding almost every year for nearly a decade.
Besides donating money to fight breast cancer, people can find myriad ways to help the cause, including hosting fundraisers; learning about breast health in order to pass along valuable information; and utilizing social media to educate family members, friends, and other contacts.
Cincinnati Resources: Susan B Komen Foundation