Most all of us know someone, a mother, aunt, sister, or friend, who has battled breast cancer. You may even be battling it right now. Breast cancer is a disease that reaches many of us on a personal level and we have a special interest in fighting this disease, which is why our agency celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month during October each year.
Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer and reduce the disease's stigma by educating people about its symptoms and treatment options. Supporters hope that greater knowledge will lead to earlier detection of breast cancer, which is associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for breast cancer will produce a reliable, permanent cure.
Here are some scary statistics on breast cancer.
- Excluding basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the U.S.
- In 2021, there will be an estimated 281,550* new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women; 2,650* cases diagnosed in men and an additional 49,290 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) diagnosis in women. (ACS, 2021)
- Older women are much more likely to get invasive breast cancer than younger women. From 2013-2017, the median age of a breast cancer diagnosis was 62 years of age. (NCI, 2021)
- In 2020 there were 684,996 deaths from breast cancer globally. (WHO, 2021)
- Progress in breast cancer mortality reduction has slowed in recent years. The mortality rate was decreasing by about 1.9% annually between 1998 and 2013. Annual declines have slowed to 1.0% between 2013 and 2018. (ACS, 2021)
- From 2014-2018, the median age at death from breast cancer was 69 years of age. (NCI, 2021)
- Despite a similar incidence, mortality from breast cancer among black women is 40% higher compared with white women. (ACS, 2021)
- All women are at risk for breast cancer. Only 5-10% of women (5-20% of males) with breast cancer have inherited a mutation in a known breast cancer gene (e.g., BRCA1 and BRCA2). The majority of breast cancer cases do not involve these inherited mutations. (ACS, 2017-2018)
- Many factors can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer including having dense tissue breasts, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, use of hormonal contraceptives or post-menopausal hormone therapy. (ACS, 2020, CDC, 2019)
It is critically important that we support this cause and do what we can to raise awareness for breast cancer.
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