By: Logan O’Boyle
About one of every eight women in the United States will develop a form of breast cancer in her life time. Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for women. In the United States more than 28% of cancers that women are diagnosed with is breast cancer. October 1st was the kick off to National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The purpose of this month is to promote breast cancer awareness around the world.
The risk of having breast cancer varies with age, race, family history and even sex. Breast cancer is not only a female cancer however, studies prove that it is about 100 times more common in women than in men. Other studies also prove that Caucasian women have a higher risk of being diagnosed before the age of 40. African American women, on the other hand, are more likely to be diagnosed after their 40th birthday. Breast cancer is strongly linked to genetics, meaning that it is highly possible to be diagnosed with breast cancer if a close family member has/had the disease during their lifetime.
Breast cancer is not 100% preventable, however some of the risk factors are avoidable. The biggest and most familiar form of protection against breast cancer is having an annual mammogram test and normal breast exam during doctor appointments. By doing this your doctor will be able to tell if you are in danger of the disease. By getting a mammogram they will be able to spot the cancerous tumor in the breast at an early stage, when it is easiest to treat. However, some breast cancer risk factors are not in your control and aren’t possible to avoid.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pink is seen everywhere from sports teams to ribbons on clothing. The main idea of this month is to spread the knowledge of breast cancer to people everywhere. During this month, there are also many organizations raising money for treatments. For example the Susan G. Komen foundation hosts a walk each year to raise money in hopes of one day finding a true cure for breast cancer. There are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the U.S. today. Just by wearing pink and being aware of the risks and precautions, this number could be even higher as the years go on.