Courtesy of Susan G. Komen

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Here’s what you need to know

by FWD>DFW | October 7, 2019

Every 13 minutes, one woman in the U.S. will lose her life to breast cancer. That is unacceptable. So is the fact that one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. And, although they are affected far less greatly, men are not immune to the disease either.

It’s these staggering statistics that have propelled multiple initiatives to fight the disease, including designating the month of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It’s also what fuels the mission of organizations like Susan G. Komen, as they work to transform how the world treats and talks about breast cancer while mobilizing large and passionate communities to raise awareness while funding education, screening, treatment, and research initiatives.

What you need to know

Breast cancer occurs when cells divide and grow without their normal control. Poor lifestyle choices, genetics and family history, and the environment can all play a role as risk factors for the disease. But, sometimes there is no traceable cause.

Invasive breast cancer occurs when cancer cells spread to nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Invasive breast cancer that spreads beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body is called metastatic breast cancer.  

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) occurs when the abnormal cells grow inside the milk ducts, but have not spread to nearby tissue. DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer.

The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for everyone. So, that’s why regular screening tests are so critical, as they can find breast cancer early — when the chances of survival are at the highest.

Talk therapy

Real Pink, Susan G. Komen’s podcast, speaks to those on the front lines in the fight against breast cancer and those touched by this devastating disease. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they recently launched a new series of podcasts, beginning with CEO of Susan G. Komen Paula Schneider, a breast cancer survivor whose mother died of metastatic breast cancer. Unsurprisingly, she deeply and personally understands the fight against this disease, as she leads the strategic direction and day-to-day operation of Komen’s research, community health, public policy advocacy, and global programs.

“I know from personal experience the devastation of breast cancer, and the power and impact of the Komen mission to end it,” Schneider said. “I am determined to do all that I can to build on this iconic organization’s mission to end breast cancer, for everyone and forever.” 

Since 1982, Susan G. Komen has funded more than $988 million in research, more than $2.2 billion in education, screening and treatment, serving millions in over 60 countries worldwide.

Learn more here.

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