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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And since we at Allied Universal Training Systems by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services encourage preparation for disasters of all kinds, we want to take this opportunity to help spread the word that screening and early detection are of paramount importance when it comes to reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Did you know?

  • One in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point during their lives.
  • In 2013, about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • Annually, about 39,620 women die from breast cancer.
  • After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer detected in women.
  • After lung cancer, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
  • The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%).
  • Though relatively rate, breast cancer can occur in men. In the U.S., approximately 2,000 men are diagnosed each year.
  • Self exams and regular physical checkups are the preliminary lines of defense since early detection and treatment are crucial.
  • Under health care reform laws, mammograms are covered by most insurance carriers for women over the age of 40.
  • Women ages 50 to 74 should have a mammogram once every 2 years.
  • Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should have a mammogram once a year.
  • Considered extreme, some women opt to undergo purely preventive double mastectomies. A recent high-profile example of this is Angelina Jolie, who wrote about her medical decision in an op-ed published earlier this year in the New York Times.

Despite these alarming statistics, there is good news. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since a1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment. Also, there are currently more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States—including women currently undergoing treatment as well as those who have completed treatment. What’s more, many who are diagnosed can survive breast cancer as long as it is found and treated early. In fact, the National Cancer Institute reports that when breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are certain risk factors over which people have no control. Family history, for example, can’t be altered. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Follow these relatively simple 10 steps—

  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Stay physically active.
  3. Limit alcohol intake.
  4. Do regular self exams.
  5. Get annual checkups.
  6. Encourage the women in your life to have routine mammogram screenings.
  7. Contribute to breast cancer research or participate in walks, runs and other fundraising events held in your community.
  8. Go pink for October.
  9. Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a parent, sibling, son or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor about your risk of getting breast cancer and how you can lower your risk.
  10. Find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.

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