On FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2009
AS A WAY OF SHOWING YOUR SUPPORT FOR BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS, MEMORIES FOR THOSE WHO LOST THEIR BATTLE WITH THIS DISEASE AND FUTURE RESEARCH
YOU MAY ONLY WEAR AN APPROPRIATE PINK TOP (OR WHITE TOP WITH A PINK BREAST CANCER RIBBON/PIN) IN ADDITION TO BLUE JEANS OR YOUR DAILY Q.C. ATTIRE
To find a walk or other event near you that supports the American Cancer Society, please click here.
KEY 2009 STATS ABOUT BREAST CANCER:
- Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for nearly 1 in 4 cancers diagnosed in US women.
- White women have a higher incidence of breast cancer than African American women beginning at age 45. In contrast, African American women have a higher incidence rate before age 45 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age.
- In 2009, an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women.
- In 2009, approximately 40,170 women are expected to die from breast cancer.
- In 2009, about 1,910 cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among men, accounting for about 1% of all breast cancers. In addition, approximately 440 men will die from breast cancer.
What is Breast Cancer: Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that starts from cells of the breast. The disease occurs mostly in women, but men can get breast cancer as well. A woman’s breast is made up of glands that make breast milk (lobules), ducts (small tubes that connect lobules to the nipple), fatty and connective tissue, blood vessels, and lymph (pronounced limf) vessels. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts (ductal carcinoma), some begin in the lobules (lobular carcinoma), and the rest in other tissues.
Lymph vessels are like veins, except that they carry lymph fluid instead of blood. Lymph is a clear fluid that contains immune system cells and waste products. Lymph vessels lead to small, bean-shaped collections of tissue called lymph nodes. Most lymph vessels of the breast lead to lymph nodes under the arm. These are called axillary (AX-uh-lair-ee) nodes. If breast cancer cells reach the underarm lymph nodes and continue to grow, they cause the nodes to swell. Once cancer cells have reached these nodes they are more likely to spread to other organs of the body.
Aside from being female, age is the most important factor affecting breast cancer risk. Moderate or vigorous physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight, having first child before age 30, breastfeeding, and avoiding alcohol or drinking less than two drinks each day are all associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.