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I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin & a best friend. I am a poet, a lawyer & a survivor. I've learned that God will give you a second chance.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Statistically Speaking

Recently a friend contacted me because she was called back after her annual mammogram. And she was scared. As we talked she quoted statistics to me. I wanted to give her a positive response and say that everything was going to be fine; that she had nothing to worry about. But I couldn’t. She was scared because she knows my story. What I did say was this: “Its ok to be scared. You are right; the chances are that everything is going to be all right.” (But if they are not, I’m here for you).

That got me thinking about some of the key facts that are often shared during the month of October. In 2014, there will be approximately 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer (this does not include Stage 0) diagnosed in women here in the U.S. And about 40,000 women will die from breast cancer this year. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
The 5-year survival rate is often quoted, but all that means is that you are still alive 5 years after being diagnosed. These rates are excellent for early stage breast cancer.

5-Year Survival Rate

Unfortunately all this tells us is that at the 5-year mark, chances are you are still alive. This doesn’t tell you the chances of recurrence or your chances of metastasis. Statistically, 20-30% of all breast cancer that is limited to the breast (early stage) will metastasize. For women who are first diagnosed with cancer in their lymph nodes as well as the breast, 30-60% will metastasize. These statistics have remained relatively unchanged for decades.
Statistically speaking, we need a cure.*

American Cancer Society. www.cancer.org
Breastcancer.org www.breastcancer.org
Healthline www.healthline.com
National Cancer Institute www.cancer.gov

*A cure for one cancer is a cure for all.

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  1. I couldn't agree with you more. Statistics only paint a partial picture. We need a cure.

  2. I'm still here and celebrating.