Thursday, October 4, 2012

Phoenix has gone PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

That's right, the usual black and orange colouring has been traded in (temporarily) to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which we all know is October.

Just about everyone will know someone who has had, is battling or has lost against this horrible and deadly cancer. I, myself, have an aunt who has bravely battled and won her fight against breast cancer. But she was one of the lucky ones. I know we all find statistics pretty boring, but I want to bring it to your attention just how rare this cancer is NOT.

1 in 9 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85. That's a little over 11% of women.
36 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer EVERYDAY. That's 13 140 women a year just in Australia.
In the 24 years between 1982 and 2006, the number of women diagnosed annually more than DOUBLED from 5 289 women to 12 614. By 2015, it's predicted that number will increase to 15 409 women diagnosed annually; 22% higher than it was in 2006.
This is not a cancer that only effects older women. 24% of of new breast cancer cases in 2006 were under 50; 51% were between 50 and and 69, and 25% were aged 70 and over. It's a cancer for all ages.
To further demonstrate this, in my research I have discovered children as young as 3 battling breast cancer. That's right, a 3 year old (same age as my own daughter) fought the disease and won.
"Aleisha Hunter, from Toronto, Canada, needed a mastectomy after doctors discovered the cause of a lump which appeared on her chest in December 2008 when she was two.
However she is now clear of the disease - and now aged four, has been speaking about what happened to her.
'I know I had cancer in my booby and that the doctors made it better,' she said. 'I know that cancer can make some people go to heaven, but I am better now.'" (Read more about this young survivor here.)
It is not exclusively a "woman's cancer". In 1982, 62 men were diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2006, that number had increased to 102. 25 men died of breast cancer that year. 2 618 women also died of breast cancer that year.
So now you know a bit more about breast cancer. It's not just for older women; it's for young women, for children, and for men. If ANYONE notices a hard lump in their breast, then get it checked out immediately by your local doctor. Don't put it off, because each day you leave it could be the extra day you need to fight it!