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Our View: Fighting breast cancer menace

Published: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

There is good news in the fight against breast cancer.

A new report from the American Cancer Society said death rates from breast cancer have dropped 34 percent since 1990 in the United States.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in U.S. women. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which began 29 years ago as a way to promote breast cancer awareness, share information about the disease, and provide greater access to screening services to women across the country.

Breast cancer, sadly, touches most Americans in some direct or indirect way.

Some statistics from The American Cancer Society and BreastCancer.org:

• Breast cancer accounts for nearly one in three cancer cases diagnosed in women in the U.S.

• By the end of 2013, an estimated 232,340 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and an estimated 39,620 women will die from breast cancer.

• Almost eight of every 10 new breast cancer cases and almost nine of every 10 breast cancer deaths are in women 50 years old and older.

• White women get breast cancer at a higher rate than black women, but black women are more likely to get breast cancer before they are 40, and are more likely to die from it at any age.

The best way for a woman to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer remains early detection, through regular self-examinations and scheduling annual mammograms after the age of 40.

Locally, many organizations are working to raise awareness and to comfort those diagnosed with breast cancer. One such group, Postively Pink Packages, works with KishHealth System and other sponsors to deliver care packages to women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. More information on the group is available online at www.PostivelyPinkPackages.org.

Please join us in supporting the fight against breast cancer this month. Let the women in your lives know how much you care about them.

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