ThedaCare Health Matters
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and, after lung cancer, it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
It is estimated there will be about 250,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed this year and more than 40,000 breast cancer deaths in the United States. It is also estimated that about 1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
The good news is there has been a decline in the death rate through better treatment options and early detection. Currently, about 3 million Americans are alive who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer. Also, current statistics indicate that 90 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will survive at least five years.
Early detection is the key to improving treatment success. The most effective way to detect breast cancer in the early stages is regular mammography. There are some differences in the recommendations as to how often exams should be done.