October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. As such, making it the perfect time to raise awareness about the many types of breast cancers, such as metastatic breast cancer (MBC) as well as men’s breast cancer. It is also a good time to emphasize the importance of early detection through screening and prevention of the disease by access to timely and high-quality care.
Breast Cancer affects one in eight women in the United States every year and 2.3 million women worldwide. Known best for its pink theme color, the month features a number of campaigns and programs — conducted by groups ranging from breast cancer advocacy organizations to local community organizations to major retailers — aimed at:
- supporting people diagnosed with breast cancer, including metastatic breast cancer
- educating people about breast cancer risk factors
- stressing the importance of regular screening, starting at age 40 or an age that’s appropriate for your personal breast cancer risk factor
- fundraising for breast cancer research
Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day
October 13 is nationally recognized in the United States as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. About 30% of early-stage breast cancers eventually metastasize (spread to parts of the body away from the breast), and the day is intended to drive awareness of the need for more research about metastatic disease.
Men’s Breast Cancer Awareness Week
Although breast cancer is much more common in women, breast cancer affects men, too. In 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden designated October 17 to October 23 Men’s Breast Cancer Awareness Week. About 2,710 American men this year are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 530 are expected to die from the disease. But lack of awareness and stigma can be barriers to detection and care. Some men, trans men, and non-binary people choose to call their cancer chest cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month can be a good reminder to learn more about breast cancer, the risk factors for you and those you love — and how to minimize them — and the importance of being screened for the disease.
Hemp & Breast Cancer
Many people diagnosed with cancer report that cannabis products are effective for managing their symptoms and treatment side effects. There is some research supporting the use of medical cannabis for managing certain conditions, but federal laws in the United States make it difficult to study medical cannabis.
It’s important to know that cannabis is not a cure or treatment for cancer itself, even though there are many such claims online. You should not use medical cannabis instead of proven cancer treatments.
Breast Cancer Awareness: Statistics
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.
- Black women are most likely to die from breast cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group. Experts believe that it’s partially because about 1 in 5 Black women is diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, more than any other racial or ethnic group.
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
There are many ways to raise awareness about breast cancer. Some of them include:
- Sharing information about breast cancer with friends and family.
- Participating in events such as walks or runs that raise funds for breast cancer research.
- Wearing pink to show support for those affected by breast cancer.
- Donating to organizations that support breast cancer research and treatment.
Together, we can empower individuals to take control of their breast health, foster a sense of community, and work towards a future free from the burden of breast cancer.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s important to know that there are many resources available to help. This information is provided by Breastcancer.org.Donate to support free resources and programming for people affected by breast cancer.