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A touch of pink

October spotlights breast cancer awareness

The pink ribbon is used to promote breast cancer awareness and research.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to learn more about the disease and advances in the fight against it.

The color pink is used in ribbons and on T-shirts, mugs, pins and much more as an emblem of support for breast cancer patients and research.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the world, having surpassed lung cancer in 2020, according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

In the United States, 1 in 8 women can expect to receive a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime.

An overwhelming majority of patients are female, but males can also be affected.

In 2023, the American Cancer Society estimates that 2,800 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, compared with 297,790 women.

Because symptoms may be easy to miss in the disease’s early stages, regular screening is considered essential.

If you are older, have dense breasts, gave birth at an older age, are obese, drink alcohol, take hormone therapy or have an inherited risk of breast cancer — such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene changes — your risk of breast cancer is higher.

There have been major strides in the treatment of many types of breast cancer over the past several decades, with the death rate among women declining 43 percent between 1989 and 2020.

The CDC website has additional information on breast cancer.