Thursday, October 9, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year. In fact, 1 out of every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. In the United States, it is estimated that over 230,000 will be diagnosed each year and more than 40,000 will not survive. And, although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed and approximately 410 of those will die.

Breast cancer incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, followed by African American women and are lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander women. In contrast, breast cancer death rates are highest for African American women, followed by non-Hispanic white women. Breast cancer death rates are lowest for Asian/Pacific Islander women. Breast cancer incidence and death rates also vary by state.

When detected and treated early, 5-year relative survival for localized breast cancer is 99%. For regional disease, it is 84%. If the cancer has spread to distant organs, 5-year survival drops to 24%. Larger tumor size at diagnosis is also associated with decreased survival. The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan in place to help you detect the disease in the earliest stages. An early detection plan includes regular self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms which are based on your age and health history.

To find out more about breast cancer statistics, risk factors, risk reduction and screening guidelines you can visit these websites.

The World Health Organization

The National Cancer Institute

The National Breast Cancer Foundation