Boobs and Babies kind of go hand in hand so to me it’s only fitting that October is both Breast Cancer Awareness Month and SIDS Awareness Month. Both of these are worthy causes that I hope you will take a moment to think about or even donate to.
According to BreastCancer.org
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
- About 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2016. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
- Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
- About 40,450 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2016 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2016, it’s estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
- In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower.
- In 2016, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
- A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
- About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. On average, women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 45%. Breast cancer that is positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, BRCA2 mutations are associated with a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 6.8%; BRCA1 mutations are a less frequent cause of breast cancer in men.
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
- The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
As a woman these statistics scare me. Our breasts aren’t just boobs. They’re what we use to feed our children with, they’re what make many feel like a sexual woman, they’re our fashion statement, and they’re a part of our body. It’s our job as women to take care of our breasts and help educate other women about breast health. Some of us can even donate to a cure.
Babies! Women lose their identity to their children and they dedicate their life to teaching and loving them, which is why when something as tragic as SIDS hits it’s important we offer the parents support. It’s also important that we provide information to new parents to help prevent SIDS. As parents we would give our life for our children.
The American SIDS Institute says that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is at an all-time low, but that isn’t really good enough. We need to do all we can to help reduce the risk a few good places to start are to not smoke or expose your baby to cigarette smoke, don’t co-sleep, place baby on their back to sleep and place baby in a bare crib with no coverings or pillows. For more information visit the American SIDS Institute.