Statistics are a great tool for understanding and explaining tough concepts, I like stats and I think they are fun.
Here is one for you: about one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Good news is seven in eight will not. The statistics, or odds, are on your side to not have it and to not know someone who does, that is fantastic. This is the thing though, most people will buy a lottery ticket before ever doing a self exam. Look up the odds of winning the lottery and then look up how to do a self breast exam, https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam .
Eighty five percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. I bet you thought you were more likely to be one of the seven if you had no familial history, I know I did. I only had two people in my somewhat large family, my maternal grandmother and a cousin who had cancer at all, neither was breast cancer. A small family history of cancer. I was more afraid of heart disease. One in four women die from heart disease in the United States. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-disease/art-20046167
There are 3.8 million Americans who have either completed treatment or are going through treatment for breast cancer right now. There are slightly less than 330 million people in the US, 3.8 million or right around 1% of the total US population and “…about 41,760 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2019 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness. ” Early detection saves lives.
3.8 million Americans. The majority of them are women, men have a 1 in 863 chance in developing breast cancer. How many men do you know do self checks? How many men do you know buy lottery tickets? Do the same exercise from the second paragraph and send the link to the men in your life. I felt extremely alone as a patient during everything, even today really, people just don’t get that it isn’t ‘over’, I can only imagine how isolated a man with breast cancer might feel. Please check yourself and encourage others to check themselves as well. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the survival rate and the less likely chemotherapy or radiation will be needed and I can attest that chemo is brutal.
Slightly more than 25% of people dealing with breast cancer are responsible for children living with them. I couldn’t find a statistic for those dealing with breast cancer being the sole income for the family. There are not enough resources available to help people in need. There just aren’t.
I bring statistics on my side by reminding my friends to do self checks, get annual mammograms and follow up and if anything is different get it checked out right away, early detection is key to survival.