Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Fight Cancer With Research
10th October 2012
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH (BCAM) is delivered every October through varies activities taking place internationally by charities and institutions. The international campaign focuses on raising awareness about the seriousness of the disease and its prevention by both raising funds for research against cancer and spreading information on causes, treatments and cures. Also, BCAM certainly represents a comforting pillar of hope to those already suffering from breast cancer, often acting as spokespersons for the cause against cancer by endorsing the promotion of furthering research and insights on the matter.
According to Worldwide Breast Cancer, in 2010 only, nearly 1.5 million people across the globe heard their physician breaking the news "you've got breast cancer". Also, this aggressive type of cancer is the most common one among women and the UK and USA have among the highest incidence rates worldwide.
The most common statistics you can come across by simply browsing the internet will state that 1 in 8/9 women might develop cancer in their lifetime. As shocking as this statement might come across to all the women concerned about their health and most of all prevention, the lifetime risk certainly exists but it should be also relativized as the health risks change with the increase of age in women. Sourcing the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures, the most at risk are women in the age group 60-69 while women between 20-29 see their risk of encountering breast cancer fall to a rate of 1 in 2,000.
However, the above-mentioned facts do not imply we shall worry about breast cancer less or not take any steps towards early prevention and education. According to Cancer Research UK, 1.38 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 (23% of all cancers in women worldwide). On top of that, breast cancer incidence has increased in the last few decades, the top of the list being lead by the developing countries were lifestyles are adjusted to Western countries trends leading to higher impact of cancer-provoking habits such as bad diets, stress, alcohol, weight to mention a few.
Breast Cancer World Age-Standardised Incidence and Mortality Rates, Females, Regions of the World, 2008 Estimates
Cancer is a disease starting in cells and forming lumps or tumours which can spread through bloodstream or the lymphatic system. Malignant tumours are the ones to look for by scheduling regular scans and check ups. As common as it might sound, prevention lies mostly in leading a regular, healthy life as well as undergoing regular tests which just might save your life by guaranteeing early detection of cancer. If cancer is detected, treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal drug therapy, biological therapy and targeted therapy, among other. Also, living with any type of cancer implies a general life readjustment as the balance between mind, body and emotions is often to be disrupted during treatments or while coping with the disease in general.
It is with the spirit of supporting all women affected by breast cancer in particular, and cancer patients in general that initiatives such as BCAM are key to mobilise stakeholders with the power to subsidise, push for and seek tangible results in cancer research. As simple and improbable as it might sound, even the effortless act of sharing the news about the BCAM initiatives worldwide may lead to a far greater role of a single person in educating women communities about prevention and risks. A click of a mouse might just save a life.
For more information, or how to participate to BCAM activities please refer to the links below.
For further information on breast cancer please feel free to to read, share and download InTech's publications on this specific subject:
Targeting New Pathways and Cell Death in Breast Cancer, edited by Rebecca L. Aft, IntechOpen, Feb. 2012
Breast Cancer - Focusing Tumor Microenvironment, Stem cells and Metastasis, edited by Mehmet Gunduz and Esra Gunduz, IntechOpen, Dec. 2011
Breast Cancer - Carcinogenesis, Cell Growth and Signalling Pathways, edited by Mehmet Gunduz and Esra Gunduz, IntechOpen, Nov. 2011
Breast Cancer - Current and Alternative Therapeutic Modalities, edited by Mehmet Gunduz and Esra Gunduz, IntechOpen, Nov. 2011