ATLANTA - October marks as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Women who are 50 and over count for 82% of breast cancer diagnoses each year. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women ages 50 to 74 get a mammogram every two years as they're at average risk for developing breast cancer.
There are benefits and risks of getting mammograms before the age of 50. Women ages 40 to 49 should talk to their doctor or other health care professionals about the pros and cons of screening tests and decide when it's right for them and how often they should get it.
The cost of breast cancer treatment is about $16.5 billion each year and it has the highest treatment cost of any cancer.
Here are the benefits of having more breast cancer screening:
- Screening every two years reduces breast cancer deaths by 26% for every 1,000 women screened.
- Women who are screened every two years can expect to live 1.4 months longer than women who are not screened.
- Screening has contributed to a 29% reduction in the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body
- Almost 99% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stage live for 5 years or more, compared to about 27% of those diagnosed at the most advanced stage.
- Breast cancers diagnosed at an early stage are much less expensive to treat than those diagnosed at a late stage.
Click here to learn more about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.