Breast cancer has come a long way. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the United States, after lung cancer. But much has changed in the last several decades, from breast cancer treatment and outcomes to the way we view this type of cancer.
Celebrity cases of breast cancer, pre-emptive mastectomies, and the creation of pink-colored everything from water bottles to trash cans, has led to increased awareness of breast cancer in both men and women. Whereas breast cancer was once stigmatized (and still is, in some countries), in the U.S., most women can expect support from their communities.
The good news is that survival rates have increased throughout the years. If the cancer is caught early and only in the breast, the five-year survival rate is 99%. The average 5-year survival rate for women with invasive breast cancer is 90%. The average 10-year survival rate is 83%.
Part of the reason those survival rates are increasing is changes in the way doctors approach treating breast cancer. Every person’s treatment plan is unique, based on their stage and type of the disease and body type, as well as other factors. Because of that and continuous medical advances, you should not expect to receive the same treatment as your friend. Some of these changes include:
Learn more about the latest in breast cancer research.
Remember, prevention is the best cure for most aspects of our health. Be sure to visit your doctor annually for a breast and pelvic exam and conduct self-exams at home monthly. Begin getting mammograms each year at age 45, though you can start those as young as 40.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Check out this free guide to breast cancer symptoms.
And we are here to help! Talk to your Generations Family Practice doctor about any concerns of family history or changes in your breasts.