October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society encourages women to follow simple screening guidelines and to learn how to reduce their chances of developing this potentially life-threatening disease.
According to the City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute, "2.6 million women have breast cancer right now - half of them don't know they have it. This year about 182,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed. Nearly 45,000 women will die from breast cancer this year. More than 90 percent of breast cancer patients survive when cancer is detected in early stages and treatment is begun promptly."
Women over the age of 40 should have a mammogram each year. Unfortunately, many don't. If they did, we could reduce the numbers of deaths associated with this terrible disease by more than 30 percent. It is important for women to follow the American Cancer Society's screening guidelines for finding breast cancer early.
Hopefully, someday we won't need a Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The way to work toward a reduction in the incidence of breast cancer is to ensure that every woman knows about it and takes the steps for prevention and early detection. Please share this information with every woman you know.
For more information about breast cancer or other types of cancer, call the American Cancer Society's national toll free telephone number anytime at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org/BreastCancer.