October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Vermont Cancer Center (a collaboration of the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care) has posted the following breast cancer facts at its Web site, vermontcancer.org.
Breast Cancer Facts
- Breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among women.
- In Vermont, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, averaging 473 new cases each year.
- While it is estimated that 207,090 women were diagnosed with and 39,840 women died of breast cancer in 2010, death rates from breast cancer have steadily declined over the past decade.
- From 1999-2006, nearly 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer survived their disease at least 5 years.
- A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer increases with age. In the United States, a woman has about a 13.2 percent, or 1 in 8, lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Each year in Vermont, approximately 92 women die from breast cancer.
- From 2003-2007, the median age at diagnosis for cancer of the breast was 61 years of age.
- Your best chance for surviving breast cancer is detecting it early. When found early, there is a 98% chance for cure.
- Women older than 40 should discuss their risk factors for developing breast cancer with their primary care provider and tailor their screening according to their risk and personal preferences. Women who are younger than 40 and have risk factors for breast cancer should discuss these risk factors with their health care provider to determine whether screening mammograms are appropriate for them and how often to have them.
- Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) followed by local radiation therapy has replaced mastectomy as the preferred surgical approach for treating women with early stage breast cancer.
- In Vermont, 63% of breast cancers are diagnosed at the localized (early) stage.
- Only 5%–10% of breast cancers are hereditary. The majority of women who develop breast cancer have no known significant family history of cancer.