Friday, October 22, 2010

7 Things I've Learned This October

1.  Inflammatory breast cancer -- one of the deadliest, fastest-growing forms -- isn't usually detectable through mammograms, and probably doesn't present with a lump.  Shudder.

2.  The birth control pill, by its hormonal nature, lessens your risk of ovarian and uterine cancers, but increases your risk of breast cancer.  Seem like a toss-up?  Not so much; breast cancer is more common by far than either of the other cancers which the pill may help prevent.  [Thanks, Elizabeth, for this awesome article!]

3.  In fact, according to The National Cancer Institute, "Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women."

4.  Although it's been impossible to pinpoint exact causes (which is why supporting research through organizations like Army of Women is so important), it is thought that as many of one quarter of breast cancer cases are caused by obesity and lack of exercise.

5.  Breast cancer is highly treatable if found early: it carries over a 90 percent 5 year survival rate when found in its earliest stage. 

6.  But....breast cancer is also highly deadly.  Of those survivors, 30 to 40 percent will re-develop breast cancer, and when it comes back, the chances of survival are terrifyingly low.  Recurring breast cancer is terminal breast cancer.

7.  Breast cancer is likely to affect one in every 8 women.  The chances of dying from breast cancer is one in 35.  The American Cancer Society estimates that 39,840 women will die this year of breast cancer. 

I used to think that all of the breast cancer awareness stuff was...I don't know...because of the vanity surrounding not wanting to lose our breasts to mastectomy.  (Please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me -- I admit to my irritating ignorance.)  BUT IT'S ABOUT SAVING LIVES.  Breast cancer is serious business, and this October, that fact has really sunken in.  So, please: get to know your breasts, and tell your doctor about anything strange.  Help with research.  Breast cancer is dangerous, and we've got to kick its butt. 

We've got to.

Head to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!


  1. I've been learning a lot from all the Write Pink! posts too. To my embarrassment, I really hadn't given much thought to breast cancer at all, even after having a family member afflicted with it. These posts have been so informative.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out and thanks for sharing all those scary and important facts!

  3. Great, interesting, scary facts! Thanks for sharing. This is all so good to be aware of.

  4. These are great facts, thanks for sharing. To add more to the birth control side--when women start going through menopause a common treatment for severe cases is Hormone Replacement Therapy (or HRT's). This has also been shown to increase the risk for breast cancer if the patient is already at risk. It would make sense, then, that breast cancer does the same thing.

  5. One needs to be especially aware that if your BRAC1 or BRAC2 gene (we all have these) have a mutation, then you have an ever more liklihood of developing breast cancer at some point in your life. I've tested positive for a mutation of my BRAC1 gene (it's broken - not doing what it is supposed to do in warding off breast cancer) and I developed bc at age 39. My twin, with the same mutation, was only 33 when she developed invasive breast cancer. Know your history, know if you are a good candidate for the genetic testing. Knowledge does save lives.

  6. We need to move beyond breast cancer awareness to finding the cause and preventing breast cancer. Please partnership with research scientists who need women to participate in research for the cause and prevention of breast cancer.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?