Breast cancer awareness necessary

Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2005

By By Janet Little Cooper
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. The American Cancer Society estimates that 211,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year and 43,300 patients will die from the disease. Breast cancer is truly an epidemic among women.
For more than 20 years now, the month of October has been set aside as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to educate women about early breast cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Breast cancer is not exclusively a disease of women. For every 100 women with breast cancer, one male will develop the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that 1,600 men will develop the disease this year.
The incidence of breast cancer is low for women in there 20's and the risk gradually increases at the age of 45 and increases dramatically after reaching 50. Fifty percent of breast cancer is diagnosed in women over 65 indicating the necessity of yearly mammograms throughout a woman's life.
A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 96 percent. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods used.
Mammography is a low dose x-ray examination that can detect breast cancer up to two years before it is large enough to be felt. Regular clinical breast examinations by your doctor and a monthly breast self-exam are also needed to complete early detection of any problems.

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