Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women, second only to some types of skin cancer. During the month of October, men and women all over the United States work to increase awareness of the disease. Read on to get the facts about breast cancer, learn more about breast cancer awareness month, and find out how you can support the cause.
What and When Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Breast cancer awareness month takes place in October every year. It is a nationwide movement supported by several breast cancer charity groups. The event took place for the first time in 1985 with the first celebration sponsored by the AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation, the American of Family Physicians, Cancer Care Inc, and other organizations and companies. In 2009, NFL players wore pink instead of their usual uniforms to call attention to the celebration. Their actions significantly increased the general public's awareness of breast cancer and the observance of breast cancer awareness month.
Breast Cancer by the Numbers
Here are some key breast cancer statistics:
- One in every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point during their lives.
- More than 281,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed annually. More than 49,000 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer are reported each year as well.
- Breast cancer affects men as well as women. An estimated 2,650 men will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer this year.
- More than 43,000 women will die from breast cancer this year.
- Due to improvements in treatments and earlier diagnoses, deaths from breast cancer decreased by 1 percent from 2013 to 2018.
- 3.8 million breast cancer survivors are living in the United States.
- Black women are more likely than white women to be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45 and more likely to die from the disease at any age.
- Your risk of developing breast cancer doubles if your mother, sister, or daughter has been diagnosed with the disease.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
Research is still underway to determine the root causes of breast cancer. Science has uncovered that mutations in two essential genes are responsible for approximately 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases. Hormones are believed to play a role in the disease. Environmental pollution and lifestyle factors like a poor diet or excessive alcohol consumption may also increase a person's likelihood of developing cancer.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Some common signs of breast cancer include:
- Lump or thickening in one area of the breast
- Changes in the appearance, shape, or size of the breast
- Changes in the skin of the breast like redness, pitting, or dimpling
- Development of an inverted nipple for the first time
- Peeling, scaling, flaking or crusting of the areola (the pigmented area around the nipple) or on the skin of the breast
What Can I Do to Protect Myself From Breast Cancer?
Take the following steps to reduce your risk of breast cancer and catch the disease early if you do develop it:
- Learn how to check your breasts for lumps and check them regularly
- Talk to your doctor about breast cancer screening tests
- Drink only in moderation
- Exercise regularly
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet rich in healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts
How Can I Support Breast Cancer Awareness?
There are many ways that you can support breast cancer awareness:
- Donate to a reputable breast cancer charity like Susan G. Komen. During the month of October, 3rd Eye Hi is partnering with the foundation through #Hi5forKomen. You can find a link to donate on their website.
- Talk about breast cancer on social media. Make a TikTok summarizing what you learned from this article and post it with the hashtag #Hi5forKomen. Share facts about breast cancer on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter.
- Make a pink fashion statement. Wear a pink ribbon or a breast cancer awareness lapel pin. Show up to work or a special event wearing head-to-toe pink, and when people comment on your outfit, tell them you're supporting breast cancer awareness month.
About the Breast Cancer Benefit Concert in Nashville, TN
Another way that you can help support breast cancer awareness is to enjoy a night of music in Nashville, TN. 3rd Eye Hi is partnering with The Joseph Family Foundation to bring you the Kiss Breast Cancer Goodbye benefit concert. The event will take place on Sunday, October 24, 2021, from 6 to 10 PM at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Tennessee. Dolly Parton is headlining, and the lineup also includes Artimus Pyle, Dennis Quaid, Linda Davis, and many others. A VIP cocktail hour and silent auction will be held before the start of the concert. To ensure safety, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is required for entry.