Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought we could spend a little time focusing on the disease this week. I am not a doctor. I am not a woman (though men can get breast cancer too). I think the best way for me to contribute is to take a look at the U.S. government’s role in the fight against breast cancer.
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime and there is likely nothing that they have done to increase their risk of developing it.
Thus far, our government has avoided heavy-handed, mandatory actions (think about COVID mandates) in the fight against breast cancer. True, it does not spread to others like many illnesses. In fact, doctors don’t know exactly what causes breast cancer. What is known is that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime and there is likely nothing that they have done to increase their risk of developing it. The fundamental cause is damage in a cell’s DNA.
A little over 40,000 deaths per year are caused by breast cancer. As such, the government does take a supportive role in research, coordination and awareness/early detection. The Center for Disease Control supports studies that work toward preventing and controlling breast cancer. It also gathers data on the disease, including disparities in its impact on subgroups of women and men and makes it available online in centralized registries. It develops “roadmaps” that local governments and others can use in order to reduce the mortality rate of breast cancer in their areas.
Did you know that black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women and that the disease is the highest cause of death of Latin women in the United States? Also, poverty and the lack of insurance increases the risk of death from breast cancer.
Thus far, the most effective way to fight this deadly disease is through early detection. Self-examinations, regular mammograms and other pre-screening mechanisms go a long way in catching the breast cancer early when it is most likely treatable.
Most people in the US know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease. There is no time like the present to educate yourself on this important topic. For more information on Breast Cancer, go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation web site at https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/.