Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It’s that time of year again… breast cancer awareness month! Thousands of women and men spent 3 days walking 60 miles all over D.C. this past weekend to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. Participants walked 20 miles each day and camped out along the route at night. Collectively the walk raised over 5.5 million dollars for global breast cancer research and local community programs supporting education, screening and treatment. My hat goes off to the incredible individuals who participated. Click here to learn more about the walk OR register to walk in 2010!

Okay, so that being said, time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in American women and the second major cause of death after lung cancer. I’m sure you’ll be inundated with facts this month, but here are few to get things started:

* One out of eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
* There are approximately 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
* One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes, and one woman will die of
breast cancer every 13 minutes in the U.S.
* About 80-90 percent of breast cancers in women without symptoms will be detected by
mammography YET only 51.2 percent of women 40 and older report having a mammogram
in the last year.
* The 5-year survival rate for female breast cancer survivors in the U.S. has improved from
63 percent in the early 1960s to 89 percent today.

While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a fantastic educational and fundraising tool, breast cancer awareness should not be relegated to something we only think about in October every year. Being conscious and raising awareness should be ONGOING, so make sure to get yearly screenings and encourage your loved ones to do so as well!

*Shout out to Christina Fields for letting me use her photo and for doing an amazing job in the walk!

Photo Credit: Christina Fields

1 comment:

Anne said...

As a breast cancer survivor, I am terribly moved by the action of so many young and old to raise money for research, including my granddaughter. This walk is one of the ways that the neglect of women's afflictions that have for so long been ignored by the medical establishment is now being corrected. Let those who hesitate to call themselves feminists remember that without these commitments, breast cancer would still ignored.