Patrick Shelby

Patrick Shelby

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it’s a cool and important time to wear pink! This world-wide annual health campaign aids in awareness about the disease and to raise funds for research prevention, diagnosis, treatment and to one day, discover a cure.

Now days, most of us know someone who has been diagnosed, treated and have beaten the disease. There are those we know who have not beaten the disease, we’ve taken part in celebrating their lives with family and loved ones. I feel there must also be time to celebrate each person who survives breast cancer, to be supportive through the arduous treatments and constant check-ups – even if they don’t want or require your support – stand strong for those who are the warriors – the survivors!

The disease is pervasive, both beatable and deadly and deserves more than a month; but month it is, and it is key to share the most current (February 2019) statistics about the disease:

  • As of January 2019, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
  • 2 percent or 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer.
  • In 2019, a total estimated 331,630 new cases of invasive and non-invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed.
  • About 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2019. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883.
  • Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades.
  • About 41,760 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2019 from breast cancer.
  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.
  • In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African American women than white women.

Research continues to provide better ways to block the deadly cancer cells and better treatments are evolving. There is hope for total remission for many.

So, while for now, breast cancer may not be prevented, early detection provides the greatest possibility for successful treatments. Early detection remains our best defense, so to that end, encourage your loved one to get their appointment made.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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