In 2014, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among U.S. women, according to the American Cancer Society. Each year, October is dedicated as breast cancer awareness month. While it’s an important issue all year long, October is meant to bring increased awareness, support, and hopeful prevention and cure of the disease.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
Cancer is the result of the over production of abnormal cells in a part of the body. These cells combine to form a lump of tissue called a tumor; breast cancer being cell overproduction that starts in the breast tissue. When cells are abnormal, they don’t function properly, causing the tumor to be malignant, or cancerous.
While there is no direct answer as to why this overproduction of abnormal cells occurs to cause breast cancer, there are certain factors known to increase a person’s risk. Body weight, physical activity, and diet have all been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Consuming alcohol, older age, and using hormone therapy after menopause have also contributed to an increase in risk.
Who Can Get Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. One in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease in her lifetime. Each year, at least 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 will die from it. But, women are not the only ones who can develop breast cancer. Each year, an estimated 2,150 men will develop the disease, 410 of which will ultimately die from it.
A genetic history of the disease does not need to exist for it to be developed. In fact, only 5 – 10% of breast cancer cases occur in women that have a family history of the disease. The majority of cases are random, meaning there’s no direct genetic predisposition.
Prepare and Be Aware
Aside from making daily life changes to improve physical activity and body weight to lower risk, the most important thing a person can do is detect cancer signs or symptoms early. WebMD provides a detailed list of common symptoms of breast cancer to be aware of.
Breast cancers that can already be felt are typically larger and more likely to have already spread. Mammograms are a type of screening exam that can detect cancer before it starts causing symptoms. The American Cancer Society suggests various early detection measures dependent on a woman’s age.
Show Your Support
Since 1990, breast cancer death rates have been continuously declining. Currently, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the world. We’d like to see these hopeful trends continue! The decline in death rate and increase in success rate is due in part to better screening, early detection, improving treatment options, and increased awareness.
Showing your support through the use of pink products, such as pink awareness socks, gives this very important cause the continued awareness it needs and deserves.
Participating in a breast cancer awareness walk to show your support? Check out our tips on 4 Things to do to Prepare for a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk. And don’t forget to sport your custom pink socks during the event!