October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast.
Cancer is a broad term for a class of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade healthy cells in the body. Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.
What Causes Cancer To Develop?
Cancer begins in the cells which are the basic building blocks that make up tissue. Tissue is found in the breast and other parts of the body. Sometimes, the process of cell growth goes wrong and new cells form when the body doesn’t need them and old or damaged cells do not die as they should. When this occurs, a build up of cells often forms a mass of tissue called a lump, growth, or tumor.
Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast. These cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor and entering blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into tissues throughout the body. When cancer cells travel to other parts of the body and begin damaging other tissues and organs, the process is called metastasis.
Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? While you can’t usually prevent cancer, it is important to be proactive about your health.
Facts About Breast Cancer In The United States
In 2022, an estimated 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 51,400 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
65% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage (there is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast), for which the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%.
This year, an estimated 43,550 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S.
Although rare, men get breast cancer too. In 2022, an estimated 2,710 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. and approximately 530 men will die from breast cancer.
1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. It is estimated that in 2022, approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer.
There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
A Global Burden
According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year and affecting countries at all levels of modernization.
Good News About Breast Cancer Trends
In recent years, perhaps coinciding with the decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause, we have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options.