You have a unique opportunity to educate your people about the disease, how early detection can save lives, and encourage important preventive screenings.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. If you’re like me, you have experienced the call from a close friend or family member who learned they had breast cancer. For a very good friend of mine, it was an annual mammogram, on her 50th birthday, that uncovered her breast cancer. She caught it early, immediately started treatment, and beat it.
Unfortunately, risks of breast cancer seem to increase with age. According to The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute, women are diagnosed with breast cancer at approximately the following rates:
- 0.44% (1 in 227) by age 30
- 1.47% (1 in 68) by age 40
- 2.38% (1 in 42) by age 50
- 3.56% (1 in 28) by age 60
- 3.82% (1 in 26) by age 70
Greater personal risk is tied to additional factors like:
- Dense breast tissue
- Body weight
- Personal health
- Family history
- BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations
Women who are age 40 to 49, should talk with their doctors about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them. Women who are age 50 to 74, should be sure to get a mammogram every 2 years.
So why promote it at work? Because awareness campaigns have been shown to yield promising results:
- According to a six-year study by the peer-reviewed journal BMC Cancer, online activity, like Google searches related to breast cancer, increased significantly during the month of October
- Broader awareness may be contributing to increased fundraising efforts aimed at cancer education, helping patients, and funding new research
- Building awareness is one of the most effective ways to decrease deaths related to breast cancer. When women are aware of their family history, when they conduct frequent mammograms in accordance with doctor recommendations