Breast Cancer Awareness Month was first observed in the U.S. in 1985. It is an international initiative to increase awareness of the disease, and raise funds for research, education and treatment.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in American women. The average risk of a woman in the U.S. developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Breast cancer also has become the most common cancer globally, according to the World Health Organization. It accounts for 12% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide.
"Detecting breast cancer early is key to the best possible outcomes. It's important to have regular screening mammograms," says M. Kathleen Christian, M.D., a surgeon at the Center for Breast Care at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. "Although prognosis and detection have improved in recent years, breast cancer awareness, healthy lifestyle choices and screenings are still vital to reducing the effects of breast cancer."
A few factors associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include being female, increasing age, a personal history or family history of breast cancer, and inherited genes that increase cancer risk.
"Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer. But it's not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer; yet, other people with risk factors never do. It's likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and your environment," Christian adds.
The campus lighting program recognizes significant local and national events, and brings attention to health-related causes like Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more information, email Community Engagement at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.
Press ContactRick Thiesse