October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Pink Ribbon campaign is visible at every turn. We here at FoundersTap and our sponsoring company Veriily have devoted space in our social media this month to recognize the deep impact breast cancer and the fight to find the cure has had worldwide. One in eight, approximately 12% of all women in the United States, will find themselves in a fight against breast cancer in their lifetime. Simple math, therefore, makes it assured that everyone will experience some brush with this difficult disease. We need to know that out of the pain and despair there is glory in hope. Knowledge is power and the currency we all can share in supporting the work for a cure:
Breast Cancer Facts To Know:
- As of January 2020, there are more than 3.5 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2020, it’s estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
- 64% 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 survival rate is 99%.
- On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
- Although rare, men get breast cancer too. In 2020, an estimated 2,620 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the U.S. and approximately 520 will die.
The Future is Hopeful:
- There are over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, including women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.
- Survival rates continue to climb due to better treatments and increased screening that finds cancers when they are most treatable.
- Caught in its earliest stages, the five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer is almost 100 percent.
- In the 1970s, breast cancer lifetime risk was one in 11 — compared to today’s one in eight. The good news is part of the reason is due to longer life expectancy and more detection through screening.
What We Can All Can Do:
- Everyone, female AND male, should perform self-exams on a regular schedule.
- Know and understand personal and medical risk factors.
- Get regular, scheduled mammograms.
- Support organizations that not only offer medical treatments for breast cancer patients but also those who provide mental and emotional support such as ChemoAngels and Locks of Love.
- Support local and grassroots groups and hospital initiatives that support cancer patients. Patronize or donate to local tattoo artists that give their artistry to make mastectomy patients feel whole again, or groups that crochet hats, socks or blankets for chemo treatment.
- Volunteer your time to drive patients to chemo treatments.
- Enlist your company or business in cause-related marketing to support or sponsor a patient(s). While many people have the support of family and their workplace, others fight breast cancer alone. Contact local cancer centers and offer to have your company help a patient in need.
Breast cancer is deeply personal. It affects a woman’s sense of self-image and targets their sense of sexuality, femininity, and even reproductive expectations. When it hits those we love, we can feel at a loss on ways to react. Family counseling is often available through treatment centers and can be a valuable resource. The biggest thing to understand with breast cancer and cancer, in general, is when a loved one is diagnosed, their family and supporters are all fighting cancer. From all of the Veriily and FoundersTap family, some of us who have experienced this fight first hand, we are hoping and praying for a cure. Together, all of us can join the fight, be cancer warriors, and hopefully one day soon breast cancer will just be a thing of the past.