In 2018, it was estimated that more than 265,000 women in the United States were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. It’s the second-leading cause of cancer death in American women (after lung cancer).
For now, the best way we have to find breast cancer early – when it’s small and has not spread – is for women to get regular mammograms and continue to do so as long as they’re in good health.
• Women between the ages of 40 and 44 can choose to get a mammogram every year.
• Women ages 45 to 54, should get mammograms every year.
• Women 55 and older should switch to getting mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live at least 10 more years.
In addition, women can take these steps to help lower their risk of breast cancer:
• Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
• Stay active.
• Those who drink should limit alcohol to no more than one drink a day.
If you know someone facing breast cancer, tell them that the American Cancer Society is there to help them every step of the way. They offer access to free transportation and lodging when treatment is away from home, and can provide one-on-one support from breast cancer survivors who have had similar diagnoses and treatment plans.
The American Cancer Society also funds and conducts research that helps us better understand, prevent, and find cures for breast cancer – and all cancers. In fact, the American Cancer Society has been a part of many major cancer research breakthroughs in recent decades.
During October, they remind women about the importance of breast health and celebrate the progress we’ve made. You can help!
Support their organization by participating in one of the American Cancer Society “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” nationwide events, speak out to increase funding for programs that give all women access to mammograms and treatment, or simply remind the women in your life to get regular mammograms.
For more information, visit the American Cancer Society website at cancer.org/breastcancer, call them at 1-800-227-2345, or download the attached document for more information (add link to PDF Document here).
Adapted from the American Cancer Society website.