October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease because education and early detection are very important.
Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, every 2 minutes a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, estimated that in 2012, around 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer in women occurred worldwide.
With such a large number of women being diagnosed, the push for early detection and screening is a must. Women should talk to their doctors about how and when to self-examine and also receive mammograms each year, starting at age 30. According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than 39 million mammograms are performed each year in the United States.
Thankfully, early detection has had an impact on survival rates. The American Cancer Society reports that the breast cancer death rate is down 34% since 1990. As of Jan. 1, 2014, there were more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
The World Cancer Research Fund International reports that there are more than 6 million breast cancer survivors worldwide, giving many survivors a reason to celebrate this month.
Some facts about Breast Cancer:
- 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime
- When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is100%
Suggestions to stay healthy and aware:
- Receive yearly physicals and breast exams from your physician
- Perform self-examinations as explained by your physician
- Receive mammograms as frequently as suggested by your physician
- Abstain from smoking and heavy drinking
- Exercise and maintain a low percentage of body fat
- Have clean and healthy eating habits. Try to stay away from processed, non-organic and fatty foods