Parish Nurse/ Health Ministry
“…let us not [only] love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Many of us have been affected by breast cancer. We know someone, a mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, or neighbor who has been diagnosed. We may know someone who has undergone surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy for breast cancer. Or perhaps we ourselves have been diagnosed with the disease.
Breast cancer is a disease where malignant cancer cells form in the tissue of the breast. 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2022 an estimated 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., as well as 51,400 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. 65% of the women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a localized stage (there is no sign of cancer outside of the breast).
This year, an estimated 43,550 women will die from breast cancer in the United States. Although rare, men get breast cancer too. In 2022, an estimated 2,710 me will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. and approximately 530 men will die from breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. It is estimated that in 2022, approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer. There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
According to the American Cancer Society when breast cancer is detected early, and in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 99%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams, scheduling regular clinical breast exams, and scheduling regular mammograms. Experts do not agree on how often or how long a woman should be having mammograms. Most do agree that women 40 -55 should have a mammogram screening every year. Women 56-75 get mammograms every two years with mammograms ending at 75. Additionally, women should have clinical exams yearly and perform breast self-exam monthly. Those women who have a history of breast or ovarian cancer should also have gene testing to look for the BRACA gene. Check with your Health Care Provider for the frequency of screening. Get your appointment today.
God, we humbly pray for all those who are fighting cancer. Give them the hope and courage they need each day. Comfort them in their pain and bless them with healing. Strengthen their family, friends, and caregivers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Carolyn D. Pauling PhD RN