Every year, October shows up right after September, on schedule and no surprises. Our annual physical should be that way as well, and so should things like mammograms and self-checks for lumps or anything else abnormal.
But we’re often not good about such self-care, which is why Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds us, once again, to do the work necessary to minimize the risk of, and hopefully prevent, breast cancer. And while nobody likes scare tactics, it’s necessary sometimes to look at the statistics for a sobering reminder of what’s at risk here according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation:
- One in eight women in the United States will be with breast cancer during her lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
- Each year it is estimated that more than 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die.
- On average, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
- More than 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.
The World Health Organization reports that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women around the world, with hundreds of thousands dying each year. The good news is that in recent years, a gradual reduction has been seen in women aged 50 and older, and death rates have been declining for more than 25 years thanks to early detection, more awareness and the growing number of treatment options.
All that said, it still begins with you. Not sure where to start? Download this handy guide that will walk you through self-exams, when to see a doctor and much more. And whether you’re unaffected, a survivor or have a survivor in your friends and family tree, learn how to pitch in to support education, awareness, research and treatment here. This is one fight we all need to take on, so that breast cancer (and all other cancers) become a thing of the past!