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Being aware

6 facts about breast cancer

The pink ribbon is a symbol of breast cancer awareness.

To help mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, here are some facts about the disease and the Postal Service’s contributions to the fight against it.

1. Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different kinds of breast cancer, such as invasive ductal carcinoma, in which cells can also spread to other parts of the body.

2. 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This makes breast cancer the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancer. On average, every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.

3. Although rare, men also get breast cancer. The lifetime risk for men in the United States is about 1 in 1,000, the National Breast Cancer Foundation reports.

4. The warning signs for breast cancer are not the same for everyone. According to the Susan G. Komen organization, the most common signs are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge.

5. Breast cancer survival rates have increased. Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped create advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, the Mayo Clinic reports. The number of deaths associated with the disease is steadily declining, largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease.

6. The Postal Service contributes to the fight against breast cancer. Since its introduction in 1998, the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp has raised more than $89 million, including a landmark study on early-stage breast cancer.

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