October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for this devastating disease.
Each year, the lives of countless women, their families, and their friends are affected by this disease. Breast cancer does not discriminate—everyone from top female CEO’s and celebrities to average women have been diagnosed with this disease. But if caught early, it is one of the most treatable forms of cancer.
Below are a few facts and figures about this disease to help increase awareness, support, and hope:
- Breast cancer is the disease in which malignant cells form in breast tissue. It is the second most terminal form of cancer in women (after lung cancer), claiming 39,000 lives each year.
- Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in American women after skin cancer, affecting approximately 1 in 4 (28%) of patients.
- Medical professionals suggest doing breast self-exams and scheduling a yearly mammogram as preventative measures against breast cancer. Early detection can increase survival odds considerably.
- Women who seek treatment for early-stage breast cancer can anticipate a 5-year survival rate of 90-100%.
- Breast cancer can develop in women of any age; however, women over 40 or those with a family history are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
- There are approximately 3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
- 1 in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
- Approximately 30% of women who have a family history of breast cancer develop the disease themselves.
- Over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed in women each year; approximately 1,900 men are also diagnosed with this disease annually.
- The Susan G. Komen Foundation is the largest grassroots organization comprised of cancer survivors whose mission is to educate women about the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Their Race for the Cure and 3-Day for the Cure are two major fundraisers held in communities around the world.
- Singers Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow, actress Suzanne Somers, and journalist Cokie Roberts are among the many famous women who have successfully battled breast cancer.