October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While progress has been made in efforts to combat breast cancer worldwide, it remains a common disease. Breast cancer affects people of all ages and races, with about 1.3 million new cases each year. Breast cancer mostly affects women. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the leading type of cancer among women, with an expected 226,000 new diagnoses in women in the United States in 2012.
Despite the progress in research and understanding of the disease, there is still no cure. However, because of increased awareness, early detection, and better treatments, people affected by breast cancer now have a better chance of survival than ever before. Through proper screening—breast exams and mammograms—breast cancer can be found early, which is the key to better outcomes. Women should be aware of changes in their breasts and talk with their health care providers regularly about screening, risk factors, and prevention.
We invite you to participate in the “pink out” on Wednesday, October 17th to show support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please join VA staff and others around the country in showing support for women, men, and families affected by breast cancer by wearing something pink. In addition to the “pink out” there are many other ways to get involved this month. Please visit the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website or the http://www.cancer.org/ for more information on how to get involved.