The statistics are stunning. Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease according to the Center for Disease Control. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36. Right now there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age. Black women have the highest breast cancer death rates of all racial and ethnic groups, and are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.
Second only to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Getting regular mammograms allows any cancer to be discovered early when treatment is more effective. Most insurance companies and Medicare cover the cost of mammograms. And, in many parts of the U.S., low-cost or free mammograms are offered through national programs and community organizations.
Komen Affiliates fund breast cancer education, screening and treatment projects for those who need it most. Find an Affiliate in your area to learn what resources are available. Or, call our breast care helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) to help find low-cost options in your area. For more information, click here. .
A great way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. Create your Early Detection Plan to receive reminders to do breast self-exams, and schedule your clinical breast exams and mammograms based on your age and health history. An Early Detection Plan enables you to be proactive about your health by reminding you to do monthly breast self-exams and schedule clinical breast exams and mammograms – and the app or plan is FREE. Click here to get started on your plan.
Want a good tool to assess breast cancer risk levels? The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool is an interactive questionnaire designed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) to estimate a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Click here for the assessment.
Are you looking for ways to support Breast Cancer Month? A good start is the Susan G. Komen Houston Race for the Cure on Saturday, October 4, 2014. To register for the race or get more information, click here. For a complete list of events in Houston for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, click here.
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