This blog was written by Jenna Pearson. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
In 2007, 11.7 million Americans were reported to have some form of invasive cancer. Men have a greater than 44 percent chance of developing some sort of cancer during their lifetime—this means that almost one out of every two males will be plagued by cancer. Furthermore, statistics show that more than 23 percent of men will end up dying from cancer (that’s nearly one out of every four). Women fare slightly better with a 38 percent chance of developing cancer (one in three) and a 19.6 percent chance of dying from cancer (one in five).
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Why dedicate a whole month to breast cancer awareness? Of the more than 11.7 million cases of invasive cancer, about 2.6 million were breast cancer. More than 12 percent of all American women have breast cancer right now (that’s one out of every eight). Of those women, almost 3 percent will die from breast cancer (1 in 36). Early detection and awareness provide great defense against breast cancer. Health professionals estimate thousands of lives are saved each year through regular screenings and self breast exams.
Who Is at Risk for Breast Cancer?
Essentially, anyone with a pulse can develop breast cancer. Following are specific risk factors:
- Although men can be affected, being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer, as women are about 100 times more likely to have breast cancer than men.
- Age also plays a role in breast cancer development, with increasing age heightening your risk. About one out of every eight invasive cases occurs in women under the age of 45, whereas two out of three cases are found in women over 55.
- Five to ten percent of all cases are thought to be hereditary, or genetic, resulting from gene defects.
- Those with a positive family history of breast cancer are also at a higher risk (approximately three times more likely) than those having no immediate relatives affected by the disease.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Support breast cancer fighters and survivors by participating in a “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event. Visit the American Cancer Society online to find an event near you.