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Check Yourself to Protect Yourself

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October 20, 2016
Edward Smith

 Check Yourself to Protect Yourself

Check Yourself to Protect Yourself

October is the symbolized month for breast cancer awareness. Every October, many companies go pink to show support and raise awareness for those who have survived breast cancer and those currently fighting.

Breast Cancer Statistics

The statistical listing below is from BreastCancer.Org:

  • Approximately 12% of women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. This statistic demonstrates that breast cancer affects about 1 in 8 women.
  •  Breast Cancer has the second-highest death rate for women in the United States.
  • There are over 246,500 expected cases of invasive breast cancer estimated for 2016, along with 61,000 cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
  •  More than 2.8 million women have a history of breast cancer in the United States.
  •  About 85% of women diagnosed have no family history of breast cancer.
  •  It is expected that nearly 40,500 women will lose their battle with breast cancer in the year 2016.

Men Get Breast Cancer Too

Hearing of a man who has been diagnosed is much less common than hearing about a woman who has been diagnosed. That doesn’t in any way mean men are immune to breast cancer. Men often feel a lump in their chest, much like a woman. However, men tend to ignore it until it becomes painful. Sadly, this leads to a more advanced stage of breast cancer at diagnosis.

  •  More than 2,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men are expected for 2016.
  •  Breast cancer is roughly 100 times less common in men than their female counterparts.
  •  The lifetime risk for men diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
  • Around 440 men will lose their battle with breast cancer in 2016.


A woman doing a self-exam and feeling a lump detects approximately forty percent of breast cancer. Establishing a routine for self-exams is very important and aids in early detection. The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. recommends doing a self-exam once a month. If you’re unfamiliar with giving yourself a self-exam, please visit one of the websites listed below:

The link resources above are informative starting points. Some of the sources are more in-depth than others. If you are concerned by an abnormality you have found while doing a self-exam, please contact your primary care physician immediately.


Annual mammograms can detect cancer up to two years before a physician or patient can feel a lump. Mammograms can also eliminate the need for more extensive treatments in some cases. Early detection is critical. It is recommended for women over the age of 45 to get yearly mammograms. Many women find scheduling their mammograms around a special time of the year helpful. I have a friend who gets her mammogram done every year around her birthday.

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Photo Source: By NicolasFilippi (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons