In 2010, nearly 1.5 million people globally were told in multiple languages “you have breast cancer.” Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide but with early detection and treatment, most diagnosed can continue to live a normal life. In fact, 89% of women diagnosed are still alive five years later.1

So how much do you know about breast cancer and why should you care?

Global breast cancer facts that you should know:

  • Every 69 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer2
  • Worldwide, breast cancer morality over the last 25 years has been stable or decreasing in some countries – thanks to early detection through mammograms and improved treatment2
  • In developing countries, breast cancer is more commonly diagnosed in young women2
  • North America, Australia, and Northern and Western Europe have the highest incidence of breast cancer2
  • Men, take note: although breast cancer is more common in women, it is not gender specific – men can be diagnosed with the disease as well3

How can you reduce your risk of developing breast cancer? Prevention begins with the various factors within your control. The following are a few ways to reduce your risk:

  • Limit your alcohol intake4
  • Maintain a healthy weight4
  • Be physically active4
  • Don’t smoke, or quit if you already do5
  • Avoid exposure to environmental pollution4

Pre-screening exams such as mammograms and self-tests at home are vital preventative measures that can be taken by women with no signs or symptoms of the disease. Screening mammograms use X-ray images, making it possible to detect any tumors that cannot be felt.6 It is important for women over the age of 40 years to have a screening mammogram done in order to allow for early detection and early treatment, should any tumors be found following screening.

Take a stand and education yourself today! For more information, please visit: http://www.worldwidebreastcancer.com

Please note that this blog was written to mark breast cancer awareness month in October, but its posting was delayed as its authors are based in our New York office and were dealing with the effects of hurricane Sandy.

Jennifer Villa Kearins

References:

[1] http://www.worldwidebreastcancer.com/learn/breast-cancer-statistics-worldwide

[2] http://www.komennyc.org/site/DocServer/Global_Breast_and_Cancer_Facts-_6-30-10.pdf?docID=3881

[3] http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/guide/breast-cancer-men

[4] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-cancer-prevention/WO00091

[5] http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors

[6] http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/national-mammography-program