I mentioned early this week that I would be hosting a giveaway today, but I was just kidding. And by just kidding I mean I fully intended to start the giveaway today, but it is being postponed to next week. So that’s a my bad, and I apologize if you came here to get free things. Now’s your chance to flee.
I took the change of plans for today as an opportunity to address a topic I find to be important. If you weren’t already aware, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I realize it’s already the 11th but hey! Better late than never!
Keep reading to learn about it’s relevance in my life as well as some interesting statistics I’ve come across recently.
Relevance in My Life
About two years ago, my grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within the next year or so, I learned my aunt had been diagnosed as well. I had never had anyone close to me be diagnosed, so this came as a bit of a horrifying shock. They’re two of the strongest women I know—two women I have always looked up to. I thank God they both detected the cancer in its early stages and received immediate treatment. Today, these two major role models of mine are happy and healthy—back to their normal selves.
While I choose to be in denial about a lot things in life (i.e. the horror of child birth, how many calories were in that milkshake, etc.), I’m not about to have the it-can’t-happen-to-me mindset on this one. The truth is…after my grandma and aunt were diagnosed, I found out my risk of developing breast cancer in the future is higher than I thought. While I was extremely lucky to have two of my most favorite people in this world come out of the battle successful, others are not so lucky. I am so thankful for their outcomes, and I have hope that we can all fight it too.
Although we can’t completely eliminate the risk for developing breast cancer, we can significantly lower its impact through preventive measures. Early detection is key! Check out the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s self breast exam guide to start being proactive in the fight.
I don’t know about you, but I find statistics really interesting. The grades from my statistics classes in college may tell you otherwise, but it really helps put things in perspective. I encourage you to read through the stats I’ve collected and hope you find them as interesting as I do! (I provided the sources of my information in parentheses after each fact if you’re interested.)
Breast Cancer Statistics
- 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1,000 men in the U.S. are estimated to develop breast cancer at some point during their life (BreastCancer.org)
- It is the most common cancer among women, despite their race (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- The risk for a woman doubles if a close family member has been diagnosed—aka mother, sister, or daughter (Susan G. Komen)
- Approximately 85% of women with breast cancer have no family history (BreastCancer.org)
- 8 out of 10 lumps detected in breasts are not cancerous (National Breast Cancer Foundation)
- 40% of women with diagnosed breast cancer found the lump themselves through a self exam (John Hopkins Medical Center)
- Women age 40+ are recommended to get mammograms every 1 to 2 years, depending on your level of risk (National Cancer Institute)
- As of this past September, there are over 2.8 million survivors in the U.S. (American Cancer Society)
Although breast cancer can be a really depressing topic, there is so much hope that goes along with it. I encourage you to research more about it and start doing self exams if you don’t already!
P.S. I recently read the following article written by a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30s. It’s an interesting viewpoint if you want to check it out: National No Bra Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month — OR — Please Put That Pink Can of Soup Down & Put Your Bra Back On
Questions for you:
Do any of the statistics surprise you?
How has breast cancer impacted your life?