Good Health

The Importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Tricia White 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, with over 2.2 million new cases diagnosed each year. In the United States, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. While breast cancer is a serious disease, it is also highly treatable, especially when detected early. That’s why Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is celebrated every October, is so important.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps to raise awareness of the disease, which can lead to more women getting screened and diagnosed early. Second, it provides a platform for education and support, helping women and their families learn more about breast cancer and how to cope with it. Finally, it helps to raise funds for research, which is essential to developing better treatments and cures.

Get the Facts

  • About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States, after lung cancer.
  • About 43,290 women in the United States will die from breast cancer in 2023.
  • About 2,650 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023.
  • About 640 men in the United States will die from breast cancer in 2023.

Early Detection Facts

Early detection is key to successful breast cancer treatment. When breast cancer is detected early, it is more likely to be localized and easier to treat. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer detected early is over 99%.

There are a number of ways to detect breast cancer early, including:

  • Breast self-exams: Breast self-exams are a simple way to check your breasts for changes. It is recommended that women start doing breast self-exams at age 20 and continue to do them regularly throughout their lives.
  • Clinical breast exams: Clinical breast exams are performed by a doctor or other healthcare professional. They involve feeling the breasts for lumps or other abnormalities.
  • Mammograms: Mammograms are low-dose X-rays of the breasts. They are the most effective way to detect breast cancer early.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump in the breast or underarm. However, there are a number of other signs and symptoms that can be associated with breast cancer, including:

  • Changes in the size, shape, or appearance of the breast
  • Nipple discharge
  • Nipple retraction (turning inward)
  • Redness or irritation of the breast or nipple
  • Pain in the breast or nipple
  • Thickening of the skin or dimpling of the breast

If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away.

National Resources

There are a number of national resources available to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or who are at risk for breast cancer. Some of these resources include:

  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Susan G. Komen is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting breast cancer. They offer a variety of resources and support services to women and their families, including education, financial assistance, and access to clinical trials.
  • American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society is a leading source of information and support for people with cancer. They offer a variety of resources on breast cancer, including information on early detection, treatment, and support services.
  • National Cancer Institute: The National Cancer Institute is the federal government’s primary agency for cancer research. They offer a variety of resources on breast cancer, including information on early detection, treatment, and clinical trials.

How to Get Involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

There are a number of ways to get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some ideas include:

  • Donate to a breast cancer charity: There are many breast cancer charities that rely on donations to fund their research and support programs. You can make a donation to your favorite charity or start a fundraiser of your own.
  • Volunteer your time: Many breast cancer charities need volunteers to help with events, fundraising, and other tasks. You can find volunteer opportunities through your local charity or online.
  • Educate yourself and others about breast cancer: The more people know about breast cancer, the more likely they are to get screened and diagnosed early. Share information about breast cancer with your friends and family and encourage them to get screened.
  • Wear pink: Wearing pink is a simple way to show your support for breast cancer awareness. You can wear pink clothes, jewelry, or accessories to show your solidarity.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an important time to raise awareness of the disease and support those who have been affected by it. By getting involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can help to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

Editor’s Note: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice.

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