Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…
October 10, 2018
Q: Mr. Pedometer, haven’t you forgotten something about the month of October? Relating to women’s health (hint, hint).
A: If what you are referring to in your not-so-subtle hinting is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NO, I certainly have not forgotten! I think it is a safe bet that each of our 700+ newsletter subscribers has known at least one person who has battled breast cancer.
This is the month to gently remind each of the women you care about (especially those who are over age 40) to be sure to get their annual mammogram, which remains the best way to detect cancer at its earliest stage when it is most curable.
Here are some startling statistics, from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
Facts about Breast Cancer in the United States
- One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
- Each year it is estimated that over 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die.
- Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 460 will die each year.
- On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
- Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.
Now here is some good news:
Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options.
Also, be aware that physical activity can reduce the risk of breast cancer, as can a low-fat diet that includes plenty of fruit and green and orange vegetables. “A high-fat diet increases the risk because fat triggers estrogen production that can fuel tumor growth,” according to the National Breast Cancer Organization.
One more thing you can do before Halloween (besides getting your flu shot): Schedule a mammogram for yourself (or for a female family member).