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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help spread awareness, I want to share some information about this disease that takes so many lives each year.
Breast Cancer By the Numbers
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
About 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
About 40,920 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2018 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
As of January 2018, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
*statistics obtained from breastcancer.org
Recommended Breast Cancer Screening
The American Cancer Society recommends that women have mammogram screenings based on this schedule.
- All Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
- Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
Early Detection is Vital
Breast Cancer treatment has come a long way over the years. Now, if a woman is diagnosed early, it is now more common for a woman to live a long healthy life than it used to be. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment is vital to having good outcome and being a cancer survivor.
Breast Cancer – The Hard Reality
On November 10, 2017, my best friend, Marie lost her battle with Breast Cancer. At first, she was told that it was likely Stage 2 and her treatment options were laid out. After her bone scan came back the results showed that she had Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She fought her battle for almost 4 years and she fought it on her terms and in her own way.
Marie was one of the funniest, most opinionated and most caring people that I have ever known. Going through life this past year without her has been really hard and I still have times when I pick up my phone to send her a text. There are times when something will happen and I just want to tell her about it so bad.
If there is anything that this story about Marie should say it is this. Take care of yourself and take the recommended screenings. Do your self breast checks every month and go immediately to your doctor if you find something even slightly unusual. Do not rationalize or ignore any breast symptoms that you notice.
♥️I write this post in honor of my best friend. Marie is greatly missed by many people and always will be.
Side Note: Most people have pink splashed all over their Breast Cancer Awareness posts but Marie hated pink so I just can’t!
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