Approximately 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 39,620 breast cancer deaths are expected to occur among U.S. women before the end of 2013. And, it is now predicted that one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetimes.
Those statistics, provided by the American Cancer Society, are a stark reminder that while great strides have been made in dealing with this particular cancer, it is still a very dangerous disease that, left undiagnosed and thereby untreated, continues to claim lives.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the course of the month, health officials across the country, as well as members of the American Cancer Society, will try to heighten awareness of this deadly disease and the many ways in which women — and men — can increase their odds of not becoming one of its victims.
Every man and woman should take heed of these warnings; the knowledge you obtain could be just what saves your life.
While women are the most likely victims, men aren’t immune to the disease either. Statistics show that every year, some 1,600 men are diagnosed with breast cancer and about a quarter of them die from the disease.
These are frightening facts, but ones we should be made keenly aware of as health officials work to get more women, and men, attuned to the things they can do to catch the disease early and increase their chances of survival.
While there have been many strides in the fight against breast cancer, the battle will not be won until not another person dies from the disease. Helping to win that battle are agencies like our own Health Department, which will hold its annual rally and walk this Saturday, Oct. 12, as a means of continuing to emphasize the need for knowledge of the disease and prevention methods.
Events are important. They celebrate the battle so many women are winning with the disease, they honor and memorialize those who fought a brave fight but did not survive the struggle and they educate the public about the disease. And prevention and early detection facts are critical to have in your own arsenals.
Taking part in activities, and listening, reading or researching information provided, can only move us closer to the cure we all long for.
It’s that ounce of prevention come full circle.
In addition, every Friday, from now through Nov. 1, we, thanks to the support of our advertising sponsors, will focus on breast cancer, providing information on detection and, more importantly, personal stories of women who have battled the disease and won. It is our own attempt at providing awareness and, hopefully, inspiring others to add prevention measures in their own lives.
Add to that our support of those fighting brave battles with the disease, and we hope we will have a county that is aware, compassionate and armed to go into battle against a disease that we won’t allow to win forever.
We should wear pink ribbons in honor of breast cancer survivors and in memory of those who’ve been the disease’s victims, and we should wear them as a constant reminder of how much this one disease has impacted our own counties, probably our own lives.