October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are seeing a lot of pink. Many of the cotton bales in the fields are wrapped in pink.
The annual campaign originated to increase awareness of the disease. We need the reminder to keep us on our toes. We hear it and it is true -- early detection is so important.
Research has come a long way and survival rates have increased. It is easy to put off and ignore a test, such as a mammogram, when we feel fine and don't think anything is wrong.
People, including myself, are busy and it is so easy to let time get by and before you know it, we are way behind on our mammogram tests.
Some facts I read on breast cancer reinforces the importance of not putting off the tests that really can save lives.
*One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
*Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
*Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
*Each year it is estimated that over 22,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
*Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.
In the information I was reading, the good news is death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990. Better screening, early detection, increased awareness and improved treatment options were attributed to the decline. A woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer has dropped almost 40 percent between 1989 and 2015, saving 322,000 lives.
I am not educated enough on the facts to go into detail about the types, stages, causes or treatments of breast cancer, but I know people personally who declare early detection saved their lives.
There will be events throughout the month and many people will be out there supporting those who have survived breast cancer and those who are battling the disease.
I would venture to say all of us have family members or friends who have had to face the battle of breast cancer.
October is awareness month but breast cancer happens all year long. Let's continue to support the research to increase the survival rates even more.