Breast cancer is so often seen as the disease of more mature women. Recently, a beautiful and talented young television personality announced this week that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Although breast cancer can affect both genders, females are about 100 times more likely to be diagnosed. Women have a 1 in 8 chance of getting the disease in their lifetime. Although there are certain risk factors that change the likely hood of contracting the disease, every woman is at risk.

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2011:

  • About 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women
  • About 57,650 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,520 deaths from breast cancer (women)
A cancer diagnosis can be frightening, but with the new diagnostic tools available today, it is no longer a death sentence.  These advancements in technology are made possible by the millions raised and donated to cancer research.  The technology we use to diagnose cancer has improved greatly, resulting in more and more survivors each year. There are also many new therapies giving women hope for longer life.

October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer awareness month is aimed at encouraging more women to get checked for the disease. There are many support groups helping women cope emotionally and physically with the disease, but now much more effort is going into awareness.  This is so important because the best cure is early detection. So please, don’t hesitate to get a mammogram or do a self-examination to protect yourself and help us continue lowering the number of fatalities every year.

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