According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women across the world and claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year. Although it is rare, men can be diagnosed with breast cancer as well. Many people know someone who has been directly impacted by breast cancer or may have been directly impacted themselves. Many organizations in the U.S. have helped raise awareness by wearing pink during sporting events and selling breast cancer awareness bracelets, but raising awareness can’t stop there.
The bad news — and the good news — about breast cancer
This year, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women across the U.S., and 48,530 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed as well. An estimated 42, 170 women will die from breast cancer this year. An estimated 2,620 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and approximately 520 will die. Thankfully, research and modern technology have advanced rapidly, and about 64% of breast cancer cases are detected before the cancer has spread — therefore, the five-year survival rate is 99%.
Warning signs of breast cancer
Some of the warning signs for breast cancer in both men women include a change in look or feel of the breast, a change in look or feel of the nipple, or discharge from the nipple. Things to look for include a lump or hard knot inside the breast or underarm area, swelling, warmth, or redness of the breast, or painful spots that don’t go away. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor right away.
Raising awareness about breast cancer
If you want to raise awareness for breast cancer, you can use any social media platform to do so. Additionally, I encourage you to reach out to any breast cancer survivors who you may know and ask if they would be willing to share their stories. You can encourage others to complete routine lab work and breast exams to ensure good health.
Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your health. You only live once!