Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your Breasteses and You

I participated in the Romp to Stomp a few weeks ago. This is a snow shoe walk for breast cancer. Breast cancer affects not only those who are diagnosed, but their families and friends. Women are preemptively cutting off their breasts because of this disease. One of the things that makes us women and we have to cut them off because of a stupid bunch of mutating cells! We should have a cure by now! Where is this cure?

Here are some facts you should keep in mind next time you skip your yearly or do not do your self exams.

About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed, along with 54,010 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. About 39,840 women were expected to die in 2010 from breast cancer, though there has been a decrease in death rates since 1990. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advancements, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.

For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than any other cancer, besides lung cancer.

Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. More than 1 in 4 cancers are breast cancer.

White women over the age of 40 have a higher rate of breast cancer than African American women over the age of 40. However, African American women under the age of 40 have a higher breast cancer rate than white women under the age of 40. African American women are also more likely to die from the disease.

As of 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

Yeah, fight hard ladies!

A woman's risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) that has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer.

About 5-10% of breast cancers are caused by inherited gene mutations (abnormal changes passed through families).

Mutations of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes are the most common inherited genetic mutations. Women with this mutation have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime, often at a younger age than it typically develops. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations.

The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).

Source: American Cancer Society

So make that appointment, if you want a great doc, I love mine (ask for her info). Cop a feel on yourself. Breast cancer is all of our business.