October is here, which means it is once again National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is the perfect time to raise awareness and discuss how breast cancer can be successfully prevented, diagnosed, and treated. Since we at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett pride ourselves on providing women with knowledge to help promote the best gynecological and overall wellness, our reproductive health experts wanted to offer the following stats about breast cancer:
- Just over 12% of women (or 1 in 8) in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
- An estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the US this year.
- Additionally, 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer are estimated to be diagnosed.
- It is estimated that roughly 40,920 women in the US will die from breast cancer this year; however, mortality rates from breast cancer have consistently declined over the last 30 years due to medical advances, increased screening and awareness.
- Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer for women behind skin cancer.
- Last year, about 30% of all newly diagnosed cancers in women were breast cancers.
- There are currently over 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the US, including those currently receiving treatment and survivors.
- The risk of developing breast cancer nearly doubles for women with a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Considering the prevalence of breast cancer, it’s especially important for woman to keep up with their annual breast exams and screenings. Early detection of breast cancer is crucial for successful treatment, as this greatly improves the chances of detecting the cancer before it has spread. The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends annual screening mammograms starting at age 40 as well as annual clinical breast exams starting at age 19. Additionally, performing regular breast self-exams is highly recommended as a way to detect any lumps or other abnormalities that may occur between annual exams.
Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we perform breast exams as part of our annual well woman exams. Although preventing breast cancer can be impossible in some cases, understanding your risk and keeping up with your breast exams and screenings can be highly beneficial for any woman. To schedule your well woman exam today, contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.