October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The pink ribbons worn by individuals, organizations, and businesses during October is a way to continue to bring awareness to this disease and those who have fought, continue to fight, and to remember those we’ve lost because of breast cancer. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It is estimated that nearly 280,000 women and 2,650 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year and about 43,600 women will die from breast cancer.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation was established in 1982 and is the largest breast cancer organization. Since its creation, over 1 billion dollars have been raised in funding for research. This incredible accomplishment has given researchers the ability to study breast cancer and come up with new and improved treatments to understand the disease more, thus saving lives. However, there is still much work to be done and research to be funded to continue in this fight.


So what is breast cancer?


Breast cancer is a disease where the cells in the breast tissue grow out of control. These overgrowths are what we know as tumors or “lumps.” When the tumors are cancerous in the breast the patient is diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer can spread throughout the breast tissue and can also spread to other parts of the body in a process called “metastasis.”


How do you get breast cancer?


There is not one definitive answer to this question. We do know that some breast cancers develop as a result of gene mutation. Some gene mutations are inherited in our DNA from our parents and breast cancer cases from inherited gene mutations account for about 10% of breast cancers in the United States. 90-95% of cases are from spontaneous gene mutations that occur during a person’s lifetime. We don’t know what causes these mutations, however, there is speculation it is due to lifestyle and exposure to environmental toxins.


What should you know about the disease?


Thanks to organizations and awareness campaigns like Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, we know more about cancer than ever before. The most important thing to know about breast cancer is that early diagnosis is vital. Yearly mammograms after the age of 40 is the recommendation among women’s health physicians. Our women’s health specialists at Rutherford’s Best Doctors can help set up your yearly screenings.


If you are looking for a women’s health or breast health specialist in Rutherford County, our directory is a great source to find the BEST doctor for you. You can find a breast health specialist on our website at rutherfordsbestdoctors.com/directory.


Don’t forget wear your pink and share Breast Cancer Awareness Month with your network!