Every October, you see pink ribbons in stores, at gas stations, in commercials and on t-shirts. It’s a month to celebrate our survivors, remember those we have lost and encourage those we love to get checked, schedule a mammogram and be aware that there are steps that can be taken to slow the progression of this deadly cancer. There are fundraisers, marathons, celebrations and a nation of pink, all with hopes to end this disease.
Because the Little Black Dress Club is an organization made up of strong, intelligent and wonderful women, we wanted to help raise awareness for those of you who may not stop to think about breast cancer very often. We want to remind those of you who have been affected that there can be a cure one day. And for those we have lost to this disease, we want you to know that we will never stop spreading awareness or sharing the importance of saving the tatas.
Here are a few stats that you may not have known:
- About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. That’s almost 12%.
- Other than lung cancer, breast cancer death rates of women in the United States are higher than those with any other cancer.
- In 2011, there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the US.
- A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
- There is a genetic test that most doctors offer in their office, or can refer you to have, that can tell you if you have the inherited gene mutation that is the most common cause of breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common and women with these mutations have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime. They are also more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age (before menopause). An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations.
- The most significant risk factors of breast cancer are being a woman and getting older.
With all of the risks inherent in being women, there are many reasons to raise awareness, get annual mammograms and ultrasounds and proudly display our pink ribbons. This October let’s show the world that as women, we are united, we are fierce and we will find a cure for this disease. Let’s save the tatas, ladies. One pink ribbon at a time.
National Director, LBDC
In memory of my mother and grandmother
American Cancer Society