Did you know that an unsuspecting woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis every two minutes? That’s according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), and it is a sobering statistic. Thankfully, with today’s technological advancements and the latest in clinical trials and surgical options, you have more help available and reason to be hopeful.
NBCF Breast Cancer Facts
- This year alone, it is estimated that 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be found in addition to 51,400 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
- Statistics reveal that a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the US every two minutes.
- More than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors currently live in the US.
The key is spotting the diagnosis in the early stage because that tips the balance of your potential survival in your favor. The FDA has approved a genetic testing kit you can take home to find out if you carry any of the three gene mutations linked to breast cancer. That’s also why we encourage you to practice monthly breast self-exams along with annual mammograms if you are able. Regularly look out for any changes in or around your breasts like redness, dimpling, scaliness or unusual nipple discharge.
Awareness is the first step to helping women become aware of this disease and speak out, encouraging women to take self-exams, contributing financially to ongoing research if possible, and supporting women in this powerful, life-saving cause. Traditionally, women wear pink ribbons, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness that shows support for survivors as well as remembers those lost to breast cancer.
You can show your moral support by wearing pink throughout October, everything from clothes to wigs to jewelry and share pink ribbons with the women you know and even honor a breast cancer survivor. You can reach out by mailing a card or calling a survivor friend, relative, or co-worker. You can send a bouquet of pink flowers, take them out to lunch or offer a heartfelt gift of appreciation for having successfully overcome the disease.
If you are a survivor, this is a great time to share your story and promote self-care. If you are a relative of someone who lost a family member, a caregiver, or a medical professional, you can take this time to relate how breast cancer affected you and changed your life. Social media provides an online platform that can reach women around the world that can save a life. The more we speak out, the more people we can potentially inform, and who knows, your story or words of support can move someone to get checked for this cancer. Fundraising is a great way to bring attention to breast cancer and help fund research.
Treating breast cancer varies depending on the stage and type of cancer you have, your age and overall health when you are diagnosed as well as your personal and family history. Treatment may involve surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation.
If you have had a mastectomy for breast cancer, you may also have breast reconstruction surgery. In some cases, you might choose breast implants that are filled with a silicone or saline gel. Or, we can use tissue from another part of your body, like your abdomen or buttocks to create the breast. Our plastic surgeon can asses which reconstruction option is best for you. If you have any questions or concerns about breast cancer and your body, we welcome you to reach out to our team.