October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. As of 2019, the National Breast Cancer Foundation reported that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. That is an estimated 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
What is breast cancer? Breast cancer is a disease where malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast.
There have been great strides and innovations in the detection and treatment of breast cancer throughout the decades. The death rates for breast cancer have been on the decline since about 1990, due in large part to better screening abilities, early detection, increased awareness, and the continually improving treatment options.
The latest statistics show that around 62% of breast cancer cases are now diagnosed at the localized stage. The five-year survival rate at this stage is 99%. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in America, next only to skin cancer. There are currently over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign began in 1985. The main goal was to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer. Over the decades the takeover of the color pink in October has become a familiar sight. Everywhere from professional athletes to television shows and commercials show their support for breast cancer awareness each year.
There are countless ways you can acknowledge and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can purchase pink ribbons and/or breast cancer awareness merchandise. You can give to a breast cancer research charity. You can take to social media to shout out your support. Most importantly, as a woman, you can be sure to give yourself regular self-examinations, get yearly checks, and get a mammogram. All of these lead to early detection which the most important part of the battle against breast cancer.