October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October was designated National Breast Cancer Awareness Month back in 1985, and over the past 25 years has grown to include a huge number of organizations and individuals all working together to promote awareness and understanding of the disease and provide greater access to screening services.
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2009, an estimated 192,370 women in the United States were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and about 40,610 women were expected to die from the disease. The lifetime risk for breast cancer in the United States is 1 in 8 for women (and 1 in 1000 for men.) Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women of all races and ethnicities. Susan G. Komen for the Cure notes that globally, one woman dies every 69 seconds from breast cancer—around the world, 1.3 million women will be diagnosed this year alone with breast cancer and almost half a million will die.
This doesn’t have to happen, though—breast cancer is now 98% survivable if detected early. Mammograms are able to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage, when it is most treatable. Yet, in New York City, 1 in 4 women over 40 does not have a regular mammogram. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides information about sites where women can get mammograms at little or no cost, or you can just call 311 and ask for help finding a location near you.
What else can you do? Learn more! There are tons of great resources online to help you learn more about breast cancer and find support no matter what your personal situation.
- Check out the Breast Self-Awareness interactive tools (available in several languages) and the Breast Cancer Info Quiz provided by Komen
- Encourage the women in your life to set up a mammogram reminder or send a Mammograms Save Lives! e-card
- Check out this CDC fact sheet or the breast cancer guide provided by the American Cancer Society
- Get support through organizations like CancerCare and groups like Reach to Recovery, where breast cancer survivors provide support to those who have just recently been diagnosed
- Participate in an event that raises funds for research and promotes awareness... NYPL staff will be Making Strides for Breast Cancer at the Central Park, Staten Island, and Bronx events in New York City on October 17th, but there are many different events to choose from!
And of course, you can find information, support, inspiration, and anything else you need here at NYPL. Here are just a few of the books we have on hand, but call us at 917-ASK-NYPL or stop by and ask your local librarian for more specific suggestions.
Breast Cancer Clear & Simple: All Your Questions Answered from the experts at the American Cancer Society.
Addresses key questions about what to expect, what to do, and how to navigate through the cancer experience.
Stand By Her: A Breast Cancer Guide For Men by John W. Anderson.
Provides practical advice and inspirational messages for men to help them lend support to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer by Nancy G. Brinker with Joni Rodgers.
The founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure shares the inspirational story of her late sister's battle with breast cancer and the author's contributions to establishing one of the world's most influential health advocacy organizations.
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan.
Traces a San Francisco newspaper columnist's life experiences as evaluated during her late thirties, describing her relationships with her husband, children, and Irish-American father before and during her battle with breast cancer.
Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Maris Acocella Marchetto.
A New York City cartoonist recounts her eleven-month bout with breast cancer, from initial diagnosis to cure, chronicling her high-powered Manhattan lifestyle, the romance between the ultimate bachelorette and her surprising Prince Charming, and her fierce battle against disease.