Breast cancer is a serious disease that can be fatal, and sadly, one in eight women will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. That’s exactly why the month of October has been set aside for breast cancer awareness. The mission of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to help ensure that women understand the importance of being screened and understanding their risks. It’s also important to point out that men can get breast cancer, too! While it’s not nearly as common as it is in women, men should also be mindful of any lumps or other changes to their chest, as well.
Early detection is a vital part of breast cancer treatment, and screening tools are the way to catch the problem early. This can include self exams of the breasts, manual exams by a healthcare professional, mammograms, and other diagnostic tools. The sooner the cancer is found the more treatable it will be, and there are some forms of breast cancer that grow faster and are more serious than others. Following your doctor’s recommendations for screening is so important.
Designating October as breast cancer awareness month began in 1985, when the American Cancer Society partnered with a company that’s now AstraZeneca, a maker of breast cancer treatment medications. Originally, it was a campaign focused on getting women to have mammograms, but that has been expanded over the years to explore research, funding, and new options for treatment.
Treating and curing breast cancer has come a long way, and more women survive it now than they ever did in the past. However, it still takes many women’s lives every year, despite advances in diagnostics and treatment regimens. More work is needed to, and researchers are working every day on finding more effective ways to detect, treat, and cure this dangerous disease.
October’s focus on breast cancer is a way to raise additional research funds to help save more lives in the future, and to remind women of the importance of getting screened. When caught early, breast cancer is much more treatable than when it’s detected in later stages, so screening tools are one of the most important lines of defense. Many women schedule their mammograms every October, in support of breast cancer awareness.
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