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The month of October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness and prevention. Throughout the world, pink-colored campaigns are designed to provide information and to show solidarity with those suffering and at risk for the disease.

Did you know that in Germany 1 out of 10 women develops breast cancer? In that country alone, there are 57,000 new cases of breast cancer and 16,500 deaths per year – this accounts for 45 deaths on average every day. Consequently this type of cancer is the most frequent cancer related death for women.

1 in 8 women in the United States develop breast cancer. So far in 2009 approximately 190,000 cases of illness and approximately 40,000 deaths have occurred due to breast cancer. Unfortunately, the statistical probability of the disease has increased over the last few years. Apart from environmental factors, this can also be due to increased awareness and the increased rate of medical checkups, which in turn has led to a higher number of diagnoses.

The highest risk of developing breast cancer is for women between 50-69 and for women who have experienced a case of breast cancer in their own family. Because most of the risk factors (gender, age or genetic disposition) cannot be preemptively adjusted, early diagnosis plays an especially important role. Detecting breast cancer at an early stage increases the chances of survival by 90%.

Since 75% of the detected tumors are impalpable, a yearly X-ray checkup and mammography is recommended. Therefore, in addition to self-examination, an annual doctor’s visit should be a fixed priority for all women – and especially for those who are genetically predispositioned with a history of breast cancer in their own family.

Women can ask their doctors to send a yearly reminder for a breast screening along with a regular check up.

For more information on breast cancer: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast
For information about Breast Cancer Awareness Month: http://www.nbcam.org/