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Breast cancer awareness is more than mammograms - The Galveston County Daily News : Health

November 27, 2014

Breast cancer awareness is more than mammograms

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Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:10 am

This month, my scrub cap for surgery is decorated with pink ribbons. Football players are wearing hot-pink cleats.

During October, a variety of products and events encourage us to commit financially to finding a cure for breast cancer.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in our lifetimes. While men can develop breast cancer, it is 100 times more common in women.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in the year 2013, there will be 232,340 new diagnoses of invasive breast cancer.

Each of these cases is a daughter, mother, sister or friend.

One year ago in the hot-pink month of October, Patti — a wife, mother, daughter and a good friend of mine — died before her 50th birthday from breast cancer.

The hot pink reminds me I am nearly two months late for my own mammogram.

When and how often we should perform annual mammograms has been a subject of debate for some time. There still is no consensus.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends annual mammograms beginning at age 40. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends them every two years beginning at age 50.

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed a decrease in breast cancer mortality during the past 30 years.

But the decrease seems related to bet-