Monday, October 19, 2009


Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is a little less than 1 in 8 (12%).

The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2009:

  • about 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women
  • about 62,280 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • about 40,170 women will die from breast cancer

After increasing for more than 2 decades, female breast cancer incidence rates decreased by about 2% per year from 1999 to 2006. This decrease may be due at least in part to less use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after the results of the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002. This study linked HRT use to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 35 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.

At this time there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)
Information taken from the American Cancer Society Website

Image by myself, taken in honor of my mother.

In my life, my mother, grandmother, two aunts, and my sister-in-law's mother have had breast cancer. Of these five, three have survived. I will never forget the fear and panic I felt when I was told "I have cancer" from my mom, or again "Grandma has breast cancer." I will never forget watching my sister in law, as a young, new wife, deal with losing her mother to this disease. Or when I showed up at the hospital after she gave birth to her firstborn, a daughter, and seeing my own mother in the room, but only a framed picture of hers by the bedside.
Statistically, about 1 in 8 women will develop some form of breast cancer in their life. And 1 in 35 will die.
I am grateful that "they" have created a month for Breast Cancer Awareness. That is why I chose to write about this topic- because I want all who know me to increase or start their awareness, NOW. PLEASE do your monthly self-breast exams and check with your doctor regularly. Even if you do find a lump, taking care of it in the early stages increases your chances of survival DRAMATICALLY. We lost my aunt because even though she found a lump, she waited to go to the doctor until it was too late.
I am so grateful I still have my mom, my grandma, and my other aunt in my life. PLEASE be aware and help spread the knowledge of this disease to those you love. This October, THINK PINK!
~ R


  1. omg rebecca I had no idea. I was sick after I read this. Literally, I almost fainted. Wow. I came back and cleared my mind so I could respond but I am SO sorry and I never knew how much the disease had/has effected you. I'm so sorry.

  2. As a cancer surviver (not of breast cancer, though males can also get breast cancer) I want to attest to the importance of early detection for any type of cancer. If you ever have a new/unexpected/growing lump of any sort in your tissue go get it checked out. Most likely it will be nothing. But for those small number of times when it turns out to be something you will be glad that you found out early when the doctors can do something about it. If it is cancer, the longer you wait and more radiation or chemo you will likely have to get. So don't wait. Go.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing that. I have to be honest, reading your comments has definitely increased my level of awareness of just how serious this is. I will promise to not take this matter so lightly.


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