Next month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In October, we honour the women bravely battling breast cancer like the badass warriors they are, and we also raise the roof and shout awareness from the rooftops.
Before October rolls around, we'd like to share some good news. Advancements in screenings and treatments and increased awareness are making a difference. Here are some encouraging statistics and developments in breast cancer treatments.
Breast cancer deaths have been declining.
Deaths due to breast cancer have been on the decline since 1990 thanks to early detection, better screening, increased awareness, and new treatment options. Since 2007, the number of women aged 50 and over who have died of breast cancer has continued to decrease. From 2013 to 2018, the death rate for women with cancer dropped by 1% each year.
Survival rates are getting better and better.
The average 5-year survival rate for women in the United States with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is 90%. The average 10-year survival rate for women with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is 84%.
If the invasive breast cancer is located only in the breast, the 5-year survival rate of women with this disease is 99%. Sixty-five percent (65%) of women with breast cancer are diagnosed with this stage - this is why regualr checks and screening are important.
New drugs are showing incredible promise.
In September this year, researchers presented data described as ‘phenomenal’ that showed the power of a targeted drug to slow breast cancer growth. The breakthrough drug works by delivering high concentrations of chemotherapy directly to cancer cells that have a particular protein (HER2) on their surface. It’s been trialled for women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer.
Patients taking the drug – trastuzumab deruxecan – were 72% less likely to see their cancer grow significantly or to die than those taking an existing breast cancer treatment.
“This exciting work is likely to change clinical practice and offer real benefits for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer,” commented Professor Charles Swanton of Cancer Research UK.
Screening makes all the difference.
Women who get regularly screened for breast cancer have a 47% lower risk of dying from the disease compared to those who don’t.
Don't wait to turn 40. Listen to your body. If someting feels off, get it checked out. You know better than anybody and you must advocate for your health.