October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a great time to educate women on the following about breast cancer:
- the latest in statistics
- risks factors
- signs and symptoms
- genetic screening
- updates on mammogram screening
In the next four weeks we will look at all of the above. Today’s post will focus on statistics. Here are the latest statistics from the American Cancer Society:
1. In 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S.
2. About 60,290 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
3. About 40,290 women will die from breast cancer.
4. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
5. The five year survival rate is now 90%. At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States(this includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.).
Breast Cancer By Race
The lifetime risk of breast cancer for women is 12%. This translates to 1 in 8 women by the age of 80 will develop breast cancer. The following is the breakdown by race and ethnicity:
- white women 13%
- African-American women 11%
- Hispanic women 10%
- American Indian/Alaska Native women 8%
- Asian American/Pacific women 10%
Although African-American women do not have the highest rate of breast cancer, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. This disparity is likely secondary to socioeconomic factors and less access to quality healthcare. Lack of healthcare means African-American women are less likely to get regular mammograms, thus African-American women are diagnosed with more advanced breast disease.
Breast cancer does not discriminate. It’s a devasting disease and it is potentially fatal. When detected early, breast cancer can be treated successfully. In order to improve survival rates, African-American women need to get educated about breast cancer. Look out for the next post, where we will talk about signs and symptoms of breast cancer, as well as the risk factors of developing breast cancer.