October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among American women. According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is a little less than 1 in 8 (12%).
Some of the most recent studies for breast cancer in the United States for 2011 estimate that
* About 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
* About 57,650 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
* About 39,520 women will die from breast cancer
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 35 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
Here are some important things to know about breast cancer.
1) All women can get breast cancer, even without family history of the disease.
2) Two if the most important risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and growing older.
3) The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of surviving it. Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early. Starting at the age of 40, it is recommended to get one annually.
4) You can help reduce your chances of developing breast cancer by engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol intake.
5) Through early detection and improved treatments, more women than ever are surviving breast cancer.
While breast cancer is more common in women there are also cases diagnosed in men. Estimates for 2011 show that about 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men and 450 men will die from breast cancer.
At this time there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. You can learn more about breast cancer, early detections, and treatments at www.cancer.org