Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Post image for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Editorial Board on October 7, 2013 · 0 comments

in Disability News,Uncategorized,Living with a Disability,Online Magazine Issues

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We’ve all seen the pink merchandise with the cute logos and phrases: “I love boobies”, “Fight like a girl”, etc. The message is getting out there and the disease is getting attention. But let’s put the hype aside and really pay attention for just a few moments to look closely at what we need to know:

• The incidence rate for breast cancer among US women is approximately 123.8 per 100,000 women per year.
• Mortality, or death rates, from breast cancer is approximately 22.6 per 100,000 women per year.
• The survival rate for breast cancer is expressed in terms of the percentage of survivors, five years after diagnosis, based upon the stage, or severity of the disease, at the time of diagnosis.
• The 5-year relative survival rate for a localized stage of breast cancer at the time of diagnosis is 98.6%.
• The 5-year relative survival rate for regional (spread to regional lymph nodes) stage at the time of diagnosis is 84.4%, and for distant metastasis (spread beyond the regional lymph nodes) is 24.3%.
• The 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer that is unstaged is 50%. Year. The current lifetime risk of developing BCA is 1 in 8 women.
• The current lifetime risk of developing BCA is 1 in 8 women.

(data 2006-2010, Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results data, National Cancer Institute, US National Institutes of Health; www.cancer.gov).

Although there are numerous treatment options for fighting breast cancer including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, prevention remains the best option for beating breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about a risk assessment. She will ask you various questions about your personal health history as well as the health history of family members to identify your risk for developing breast cancer. Consider your lifestyle. We should all know by now that following a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fats and high in fiber lowers our risk of developing all types of cancer. Similarly, participating in a regimen of regular exercise can lower the risk of developing all cancers. There are also medical and even surgical options for reducing your risk of developing breast cancer. Angelina Jolie recently underwent mastectomy as a preventative measure due to her increased risk of developing breast cancer. Also, cancer-fighting drugs, such as Tamoxifen and Raloxifene can be taken by people at high risk of developing breast cancer in order to prevent it. Regular, monthly, self-breast exams will alert you early to changes or something unusual in breast tissue or appearance. Finally, annual mammograms beginning at the age of 40, or earlier if a mother or sister developed ovarian or early onset breast cancer, will help identify any unusual changes early on.

Be aware. Be proactive. Be a survivor.

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