October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so we want to take this opportunity to talk about the latest breast cancer facts, statistics, prevention measures and resources to help you.
Currently, 1 in 8 women develops breast cancer, which is about 13 percent of women in the U.S.
While that number may seem scary, know that you still have an 87 percent chance of not getting breast cancer. One of the keys to surviving breast cancer if you are part of that 13 percent is early detection. We can’t stress enough the importance of regular mammograms and breast self-exams.
2020 breast cancer stats and facts
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 276,400 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and approximately 42,100 women will die from breast cancer in 2020. While still far too many, for context more women die from lung cancer each year than breast cancer.
There are currently over 3.5 million women who are breast cancer survivors in the U.S. alone. The survival rate for breast cancer has been improving (now about 97.4 percent) in recent years due to earlier detection and better treatment options.
How can I lower my chances of getting breast cancer?
Eighty-five percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of it. The good news about this is that sometimes you can make lifestyle changes to lower your chances of getting breast cancer. The bad news is that developing breast cancer also has to do with certain genetic mutations that you have absolutely no control over.
Here are some ways you can lower your chances of developing breast cancer and/or other types of cancer:
- Eat vitamin-rich and healthy foods
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Avoid tobacco use
- Keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly
- Breastfeed your babies
Resources for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it can be overwhelming to know what to do next. Here are some great resources that will help guide you through the process:
- The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has free educational guides on breast health, breast cancer, detection tips and other resources.
- Interested in learning more about clinical trials involving new treatments and prevention measures for breast cancer? Check out breastcancertrials.org.
- Cancer Care is an organization that gives support through counseling, financial assistance, support groups and other programs for those affected by breast cancer.
- The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition is a group of major organizations that provide support and guidance for cancer patients that are dealing with financial struggles from treatment costs and other financial strains.
- The Susan G. Komen Foundation is a well-known breast cancer advocacy and support group that offers a lot of help for women with breast cancer. Their most popular event is their annual Race for the Cure that raises money for breast cancer research.
All About Women is here to help women with breast cancer
At All About Women, we want to provide as much support for women with breast cancer or at risk of developing breast cancer. Again, we want to stress the importance of yearly mammograms for women that are 40 and older.
Also, do not neglect your yearly well-woman exam so your doctor can be on the lookout for potential warning signs. Early detection of breast cancer (and any other cancer) is key for successful treatment and life afterward.