October isn’t just about ghouls and goblins. Today, October 1, marks the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of those fighting to survive and working to find a cure, we have compiled a list of breast cancer-related facts and figures, so that you are better aware of how it affects both women and men. (The facts have been obtained from the American Cancer Society website for the years from 2011 to 2012.)
- Except for those pertaining to the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.
- About 95 percent of new cases and 97 percent of breast cancer deaths occurred in women who were 40 years or older.
- Though breast cancer incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women for most age groups, African American women have a higher incidence rate before the age of 40 and they are more likely to die from the disease at every age.
- About 2,140 of new cases, or 1 percent of all breast cancers, were expected to occur among men in 2011. About 450 men were to die from the disease that same year, as well.
- About 39,520 women were to die from breast cancer in 2011.
Below is a list of five celebrities who have been diagnosed with—and beat—breast cancer.
- Kathy Bates, actress in “Misery” (1990) and “Titanic” (1997), was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year and underwent a double mastectomy*. She recently stated in People magazine that she doesn’t have to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
- Judy Blume, author of “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,” was diagnosed in June with invasive ductal carcinoma*, the most common type of breast cancer, and underwent a mastectomy*.
- Olivia Newton-John, who played Sandy in the beloved musical “Grease” (1978), underwent chemotherapy, a modified radical mastectomy* and breast reconstruction after being diagnosed with the disease in 1992.
- Giuliana Rancic, “E! News” host, underwent a double mastectomy in December after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.
- Christina Applegate, who played Kelly Bundy in “Married with Children,” was diagnosed with breast cancer at 36 and underwent a double mastectomy.
- Double Mastectomy: The surgical removal of both breasts.
- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: Breast cancer that begins in the milk duct(s), and then invades the surrounding breast tissue. It can spread throughout the bloodstream or the lymphatic system, which is the body’s drainage system, if it isn’t treated early.
- Mastectomy: The surgical removal of one breast.
- Modified Radical Mastectomy: The surgical removal of the breast, along with surrounding tissue and the lymph nodes in the underarm.
How are you going to help in the fight against breast cancer throughout this month?