According to the American Cancer Society one in eight women – versus one in 1,000 men – will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
Where’s the fairness in that?
Now, to be fair, you could say men get prostate cancer and women do not, which is true. The statistics for prostate cancer from the American Cancer Society are that one in six men will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime. However, even though the likelihood of a man being diagnosed with prostate cancer is greater than that of a woman being diagnosed with breast cancer, the number of survivors is much higher.
When you compare the statistics for breast cancer versus prostate cancer, they seem pretty unequal.
- About 241,740 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed annually.
- About 28,170 men will die of prostate cancer annually.
- About 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women annually.
- About 63,300 new cases of CIS noninvasive early-stage breast cancer will be diagnosed.
- About 39,510 women will die from breast cancer annually.
Men’s prostate cancer survival numbers are not even close to women’s survival rates. This year, over 50,000 more women will be diagnosed and over 10,000 more women will die – not exactly in the same ballpark.
Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was aware of the numbers. Usually after attending a Komen Race, when it was top-of-mind, I would sit in a luncheon and mentally go around the table and go – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – you’re it! In my mind, I thought it was my civic responsibility to tell person #8.
Of course I never did; I only thought about it.
Things have changed in my life over the last 4½ years, and whenever I have the opportunity to share these statistics, I tell person #8 and the seven others sitting at the table. I want everyone to know – especially person #8. There’s no way to avoid being person #8 – it’s a hard-core fact. So rather than hide her head in the sand, I want person #8 to know the facts and try to at least educate herself, be aware of the situation and act responsibly by trying to lower her risk.
I have written about lowering your risk and following a healthier lifestyle throughout the last several months, but I think it is worth repeating as summer ends and the fall/winter festivities begin. I don’t know about you, but when September starts, my life is crazy busy. I always have to remind myself to take care of myself – to exercise, eat right, and take care of ME! Who else is going to do it?
So once again, I share some ways to lower your risk of breast cancer from Bright Pink. I am using a different resource, just to say it in a different way, although they all say the same thing.
Here they are – four things you can do to lower your risk from Bright Pink:
- Follow a low-fat diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit or eliminate alcohol consumption.
- Exercise regularly.
Muriel, four-year, 9 month breast and lung cancer survivor
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As a part of our mission to make The Journey a powerful voice for everyone in our community, we invite each of you to consider joining the conversation and sharing your journey with comments and feedback. You don’t have to be a breast cancer survivor, you can be a caregiver, or a friend, or a concerned citizen. What we are looking for is meaningful and helpful conversations that will encourage other people as they travel along their journey. Sharing is caring and very cathartic. I sincerely urge you to take part.