Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, October 04, 2013

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face." - Eleanor Roosevelt


With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get educated and raise awareness! There is so much that I want to talk about that I don't even know where to start. Although I don't personally know anyone who has suffered with this terrible disease, I know friends who have lost their mothers to cancer and others whose mothers have survived the battle of cancer. Every time I hear the word "cancer" my heart sinks a little. So, in order to educate myself and all of you, every Thursday this month I'll be dedicating a Thankful Thursday post to raising breast cancer awareness. Today I'll talk about what breast cancer is and some general statistics. All the information I use will come from the Susan G. Komen for the cure website (http://ww5.komen.org)

We've all heard of breast cancer, but what exactly is it? We all have cells in our body that are continually growing and dividing in an orderly manner, however, some of these cells start growing out of control. When this occurs, a lump begins to grow called a tumor. Tumors can either be benign, which are not cancerous, can be removed, and generally don't come back or spread through your body, or they can be malignant, which are cancerous, can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. When a malignant tumor forms in a breast, it's called breast cancer. For more information on how breast cancer grows and spreads through out the body click here

Breast cancer can affect both men and women, contrary to many beliefs, and different groups of people have different rates of breast cancer. The following statistics are from the Susan G. Komen website and are an overview of statistics for the general population. All information comes from here unless otherwise specified by an 'x'. 

Women
It's estimated that in 2013 there will be...
- 232, 340 new cases of invasive breast cancer, or cancer that has spread (not including recurrence of  original breast cancer among survivors)
- 64, 640 new cases of situ, or early stages, breast cancer (includes ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS, non- invasive) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS, increases risk of invasive breast cancer)
- 39, 620 breast cancer deaths
- Currently over 2.8 million breast cancers survivors (x)

Also, it is estimated that about 1 in 8 (12%) women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime (x)

Men
It's estimated that in 2013 there will be...
- 2, 240 new cases of invasive breast cancer
- 410 breast cancer deaths
- Risk of breast cancer in males is 1 in 1,000 (x)

Worldwide
- Most common cancer in women worldwide
- Over 1.6 million new cases of breast cancer worldwide in 2010
- Generally developed countries (i.e. U.S., England and Australia) have a higher risk of breast cancer than underdeveloped countries (i.e. Cambodia, Nepal, and Rwanda)

I hope that this information has been helpful and that you have learned something new! Stay tuned next week for some more information regarding breast cancer and how to prevent it. If you or a loved one are suffering from cancer, first of all I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through, secondly keep your head up! You're a survivor and one day we will kick cancer's butt! Lots of love. xx

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