October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign that started in 1985 to educate men and women about breast cancer and to encourage early detection. Since the campaign began, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has gained global recognition, with numerous corporations branding and promoting the illness through its now iconic pink ribbon symbol.
Breast Cancer Statistics
The reason that Breast Cancer Awareness Month has gained prominence is due to the prevalence of the illness, as it is the most common of all cancers, with almost four million women who have been diagnosed living in the United States. It is the second leading cause of death among women, and according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
However, it is also one of the most treatable forms of cancer if caught early enough. When caught in its initial stages before the cancer has spread outside of the breast, its five-year survival rate is 99%. If caught at a later stage where the cancer has reached the surrounding tissue, the survival rate drops to 24%.
It is also possible for men to get breast cancer. In 2021, it is estimated that 2,650 men will be diagnosed with male breast cancer, and approximately 530 of these will not survive.
Goals of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to raise awareness about breast cancer and to promote early detection tests. This month aims to educate women on their risk factors so they know when to get screened and so that they can recognize symptoms early to increase their chance of survival. The purpose of the campaign is to also encourage the use of mammograms as a tool to be used in the fight against breast cancer.
During this month, numerous organizations raise money so as to support research on treatments and low-cost screenings and mammograms. October is also when breast cancer survivors and those with breast cancer are celebrated and encouraged to share their stories with the world.
When To Get Screened
It is very important to check your breasts regularly with a self-exam to monitor for any early symptoms of breast cancer.
You should get screened if you develop:
- A lump or swelling in the breast
- A change in the skin, like puckering or dimpling
- A rash or crusting around the nipple
- A check in the color of your breast, potentially red or inflamed
- A change in the nipple, if it becomes inverted
- Unusual discharge or liquid from the nipple
Your age also plays a factor in how often you should be screened for breast cancer. After the age of 40, it is recommended that you get mammograms every year. Based on family history, you may need to also receive an MRI with your mammogram, or begin screenings prior to 40.
Contact New Life Medical Services
At New Life Medical Services, we aim to support breast cancer patients in any way we can. If you would like to learn more about the natural biologic products we offer, contact New Life Medical Services today.