• breast_cancer_awareness_300x300

    By Joyvina Evans, PhD CCRC

    Every October, people across the United States recognize breast cancer awareness. People are adorned with pink attire and many cities or counties have breast cancer awareness walks sponsored by Susan G. Komen or the American Cancer Society.

    Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer.  It is recommended that women between the ages of 50 and 74 are screened every 2 years and that women between 40 and 49 at least speak with their physician about screening via a mammogram.  

    While I am not in either of those age groups, my sisters and mom all have had mammograms.  Each expressed that the temporary discomfort is worth it. They would rather have to go through this ordeal and know that there are not issues with breast cancer, versus not knowing.

    In the United States, breast cancer is deemed the most common cancer in women regardless of race and ethnicity.  In Hispanic women, it is considered the most common mortality from cancer and the second most common cause of mortality among Asian/Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives (CDC, 2014). It is estimated that in 2015, over 290,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S and approximately 2,350 new cases in men (Breast Cancer, 2015).

    Generally, breast cancer awareness focuses on women, however there have been an increase of research focusing on men who develop this disease.  The rates of preventive double mastectomies doubled in men between 2004 and 2011. This is an interesting statistic considering the fact that breast cancer is rare in men. It is estimated that less than 1% of breast cancer cases occur in men.  The lifetime risk of a man being diagnoses is about 1 in 1,000. Because men’s breasts are so small, they do not usually have lumpectomies and instead opt for mastectomies to remove the tumor.  When men are diagnosed with cancer in one breast, they may opt to have a double mastectomy.  Whenever the healthy breast is removed, it is called a contralateral preventive mastectomy. Women are taking heed to what men are doing. According to Seo (2015), more women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in only one breast are opting to have double mastectomies as well.

    Regardless of age, weight, race, or gender…if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you should ask your doctor about all of the treatment options.  Additionally, be sure to ask about risk reduction options.  Together, you and your oncologist can make the best decision for you and your diagnosis.

    Joyvina Evans, PhD CCRC, is a faculty member at Kaplan University. The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and are not to be relied upon for medical purposes. Always check with a health care professional regarding any questions you may have regarding medical issues. 

  • Related Articles

      • The_value_of_medical_assistants150x94

        The Value of the Medical Assistant in Today’s Medical Practice

        Read More
      • importance_of_health_educators150x94

        The Importance of Health Educators

        Learn More
  • References

    Breast Cancer (2015). U.S. Breast cancer statistics. Retrieved from, http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Breast cancer statistics.  Retrieved from, http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/

    Seo, B.R., Bhardwaj, P., Choi, S., Gonzalez, J., Andresen, R.C., et al (2015). Science Translational Medicine. Obesity-dependent changes in interstitial ECM mechanics promote breast tumorigenesis. Science Translational Medicine. Retrieved from, http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/7/301/301ra130

Request Information

  • (optional)
  • Step 1 of 2

Health Sciences


  • Transfer Credit
  • Paying For School
  • Kaplan Commitment