October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Are We Making Progress?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Are We Making Progress?

October is breast cancer awareness month. The time of year when various charities, national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies all work together to promote breast cancer awareness, raise funds and hopefully get closer to finding a cure. But is all this awareness making an impact?

Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women (only lung cancer kills more women each year). According to the American Cancer Society, the chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 36 (about 3%). About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.


Work in Progress

Currently, it is estimated that there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States (including women still being treated and those who have completed treatment). “Death rates from breast cancer have been dropping since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.” (ACS) Some of these newer treatments and procedures and those being studied include molecular breast imaging, oncoplastic surgery, targeted therapy drugs such as Tyrosine kinase inhibitors and PARP inhibitors, bone-directed treatments, immunotherapy and more.

Science Care whole body donors have also done their part to help make advancements in breast cancer treatment possible. With the help of donors, researchers and medical device companies have developed new types of breast biopsy instruments for image-guided breast biopsy procedures. Instruments like these improve diagnoses and treatments for those suffering from ailments of the breast region such as cancer. Donors also play a critical role in helping to train surgeons who perform lumpectomies and mastectomies. A recent project included the development of new techniques to examine tumor margins to reduce the spread of cancer after a lumpectomy procedure.

Are we making progress in the fight against breast cancer? The answer is yes. But it’s quite clear that much more work needs to be done to further breast cancer research and cancer research in general. Do your part this October and help raise awareness. However, please note that not all breast cancer charities are the same and not every pink ribbon, pink t-shirt or pink soda can goes to directly supporting the cause. Do your homework if you want to ensure that your contributions are going toward research. Time Magazine (online) with the help of Charity Navigator put together an overview of some good organizations worthy of supporting, including:

  • Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
  • California Breast Cancer Research Program
  • Young Survival Coalition Fund
  • National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund
  • The Pink Fund Inc.

Here are some local upcoming Race for the Cure® events you may want to consider participating in:

Miami, FL – 10/15/2016
Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Race for the Cure®
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Affiliate
Phone: (855) 867-0431


Philadelphia, PA – 10/14/2016
Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day®
Komen Headquarters
Phone: 800-996-3DAY (3329)


San Diego, CA – 11/18/2016
Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day®
Komen Headquarters
Phone: 800-996-3DAY (3329)


Lake Elsinore, CA – 10/16/2016
Komen Inland Empire Race for the Cure®
Inland Empire Affiliate
Phone: (951) 676-7465


Phoenix, AZ – 10/9/2016
Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure®
Arizona Affiliate
Phone: (602) 346-2873


Dallas/Fort Worth, TX – 11/4/2016
Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day®
Komen Headquarters
Phone: 800-996-3DAY (3329)


Dallas, TX – 10/15/2016
Komen Dallas Race for the Cure®
Dallas County Affiliate
Phone: (214) 750-7223




For more information on new breast cancer treatments and studies, visit:




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