Heart of Illinois ABC is joining the Real Men Wear Pink movement to raise awareness and money to support the American Cancer Society's mission and save more lives from breast cancer.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is malignant (cancerous) if the cells can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too.
How is breast cancer detected?
Tests and exams used to find a disease, like cancer, in people who do not have any symptoms are called screening tests. Screening exams, such as mammograms, find cancers before they start to cause symptoms. This is called early detection. Cancers that are found early – when they’re small and haven’t spread – are easier to treat and have better outcomes.
The facts on breast cancer in the United States
- In 2019, more than 268,600 women are expected to be newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the US, and an estimated 41,760 women are expected to die from the disease.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women (excluding skin cancer) and second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.
- Breast cancer does not just affect women. More than 2,600 men in the US are expected to be diagnosed this year and an estimated 500 are expected to die from the disease.
- Breast cancer in men is rare, accounting for less than 1 percent of breast cancer cases in the US. However, men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer, which likely reflects decreased awareness and delayed detection because screening mammography is not recommended for men due to the rarity of the disease.
- Due to the infrequency of male breast cancer, much less is known about the disease then female breast cancer.
- Breast cancer death rates have declined by 40 percent since 1989, contributing to 348,800 lives saved.
- The five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes or other location is 99 percent.