October is not only Breast Cancer Awareness Month but it is also National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. This month I will use this column to recognize both as they are equally important. During the first two weeks, I will address Breast Cancer Awareness and during the final two weeks, this column will address Intimate Partner/Domestic Abuse. Be sure to pick up your copy of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper and share it with a friend. This column will begin with facts about breast cancer and suggest how you can become an advocate for cancer research.
Did you know breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers? According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the U.S. for 2014:
• About 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
• About 62,570 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
• About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer.
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 36 (about 3 percent). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, 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.
Presently, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)
Become an advocate
FACT: The federal government is the nation’s largest funder of cancer research.
FACT: Insurance companies begin covering many cancer screenings – like mammograms, colonoscopies and Pap tests – because the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) help get laws passed requiring them to do so.
FACT: More than 30 states and thousands of communities are now smoke-free as a result of advocacy.
These are just a few reasons why cancer is not just a medical issue; it is a public policy issue as well. From the local city council to the U.S. Congress, the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN engage with elected and appointed officials to ensure that cancer remains a top local, state and national priority. Through advocacy, together we can be successful in eliminating suffering and death due to cancer. Become an advocate for cancer research. Get involved by sending a message to your Congress representatives at:
Tell your representatives to protect funding for research that will develop better early detection tools and treatments and improve patient-centered care for breast cancer.
Next Week: Continuation
The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.