INFOGRAPHIC: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Founded in 1985 as partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries—which is now a part of AstraZeneca—the goal of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was to encourage screening, awareness, and earlier treatment of breast cancer. 32 years later, the results are tangible: a woman’s risk of dying of breast cancer has dropped nearly 38 percent. However, breast cancer remains the second leading cause of death in women, falling behind only lung cancer.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve put together this infographic to give a quick overview of the disease.

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When is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month? October 1st – 31st, every year.

What is Breast Cancer? Cancer is a broad term for a class of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade healthy cells in the body. Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast, and can spread to surrounding tissue.

1 in 8 Women Will Be Diagnosed: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with 252,710 cases diagnosed annually. It is also the second leading cause of death in women, resulting in the deaths of over 40,000 each year.

Not Just a Concern for Women: Although less than 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses are found in men, their mortality rate is considerably higher than women, due to a lack of awareness and delayed treatment.

Early Detection is Key: The earlier the detection, the more likelihood of survival. There are number of ways breast cancer can be detected. Examples include self-breast exams, clinical breast exams, or scheduling a mammogram.

Risk Factors: Fact vs. Fiction: Some risk factors—like alcohol consumption—can be avoided. Others, like a family history of cancer, cannot. And more still—like caffeine, deodorant, microwaves, and cell phones—aren’t risk factors at all.

Whether someone you know has been affected by breast cancer or not, there are a number of ways to get involved with the fight.

With fundraisers and awareness walks occurring all over the country, researching local resources is another easy way to get involved in your own community's efforts. Wearing pink is another popular October sight, from professional athletes to authors to polticians. Raising awareness about breast cancer has been the goal of this month from its inception, and hopefully its effects will only continue to grow over its next 32 years. 

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