Many of us have heard the stats that breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women other than skin cancers. In 2014, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Another 62,000 more will be diagnosed with carcinoma in situ (CIS), a non-invasive and very early form of breast cancer. Of those 300,000 people in total, about 40,000 women are likely to not survive.
Most breast cancers found in stages 1, 2, and 3 are successfully treated with high survival rates. Stage 4, however, when the cancer has often spread, is trickier to eradicate.
The good news is that breast cancer incidence rates decreased or have remained stable in recent years, possibly because of a decline in the use of hormone therapy after menopause. Also, the rate of death from breast cancer has been declining for the past 20 years, particularly in women younger than 50. Earlier detection from screening and higher levels of awareness seem to be contributing to the decrease, as well as improvements in treatment.
Today, more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors are in the U.S., including those still being treated. Support to help find a cure through the Susan G. Komen foundation continues to grow. To find ways to help, visit the foundation’s website. While you are at it, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment for your annual exam.
Dr. Julie Drolet
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