Every October, the nation observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month in order to increase knowledge about breast cancer, empower women to take control of their health and check for breast cancer, as well as help raise fund for researching into ending this killer disease.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an important event on the health calendar. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer worldwide, and beating breast cancer will help millions of women live longer, healthier lives. Now is the perfect time to shed some light on breast cancer and uncover the truth about this disease. Find out what is breast cancer and what you need to understand this month as the world becomes more informed about breast cancer prevention and cure.
- Breast cancer is not limited to the breasts. You can experience the disease in different parts of your body that have breast tissue, and breast tissue reaches up to the collarbone and it extends into the armpit. In order to screen for breast cancer you need to check in these places too when you do your breast-aware self check.
- Breast cancer symptoms include more signs than just a lump. It’s true; a lump is usually the most common first symptom of this cancer but signs also include itching, bumps on the skin, discharge, and more. If anything looks different with your breasts, it is worth having it checked out by a doctor.
- A breast cancer lump normally feels like a solid, immobile mass that is fixed beneath the skin. That doesn’t mean that if you feel something like this, you have cancer – most lumps turn out to be benign – but if it doesn’t go away within a few weeks or it gets bigger, visit the doctor for a check.
- Young women are less likely to get breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute says that two thirds of women who have breast cancer are older than 55 years. It is much more common to suffer from the disease as you get older, so if you are young and you discover a lump it is probably nothing to panic about – but see a doctor to make sure.
- If breast cancer is diagnosed early the survival rate is much higher. In fact, if the cancer is discovered while it is still at Stage 1 the survival rate at five years is around 98 percent. Even if the cancer is at stage III when diagnosed, you can still get a survival rate at five years of 72 percent. It is vitally important to do preventative checks so if cancer does occur, it is found as early as possible.
- Overall, the chance that a woman will die as a result of breast cancer is around three percent. In the United States there are now more than 2.8 million women who have survived the disease, including those who are still undergoing breast cancer treatment.
- The death rate from the disease has been dropping since 1989. But that doesn’t mean we are winning the fight against breast cancer. There is still much to learn about this disease.
- You don’t have to have a family history of breast cancer to get it. Around 75 percent of breast cancers happen to people who have no family history of the disease. It is still not completely certain what causes breast cancer to happen and why a woman becomes the first in her family to experience the disease. Don’t think that since your mom didn’t have breast cancer, you can skip the exams.
- Around 246,660 new cases of breast cancer will be discovered in women in 2016, according to the American Cancer Society. This makes it likely that around one in eight women, or 12 percent of women, will get breast cancer within their lifetime. It is so important to regularly check the breasts and the surrounding area for signs of the disease. You can get more information on breast cancer and how to check for breast cancer here.
- Increased adaptation of the western lifestyle, increasingly urban living, higher rates of obesity, and extended life expectancy, have all contributed, experts believe, to increased breast cancer in the developed world.