In Monday’s edition, The LaGrange Daily News paid special attention to breast cancer, the second most common cause of cancer death among American women.
October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an observance that started more than 25 years ago, and which helps inform the public about the disease and the progress being made against it.
This year, nearly a quarter-million new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society, which is working to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. Tragically, about 39,000 women will die as a result of breast cancer this year, the data indicate.
However, there is encouraging news: In the U.S., death rates from breast cancer have been getting lower during the last two decades. This trend is especially pronounced among women under age 50.
The declining rates, officials say, are linked to earlier detection of the disease through screening, better treatment and greater awareness.
This shows the importance of education about the disease and the steps women can take, including screening and regular breast imaging. It also points out the importance of access to services.
Low-cost screening is available in many areas. Even for women without health insurance, help is available.
That is only one example of the many efforts being made by health care professionals, generous donors, volunteers, and public and private organizations in the battle against breast cancer. Such groups as HOPE and Breast Friends for Life are among the examples of those providing compassion to victims of this disease.
The Daily News commends them all for making a real difference for women and their families. We also remind and encourage women to seek screening and further care as needed.
Reliable estimates put the number of breast-cancer survivors in the U.S. at nearly 3 million. We want to see that number grow until the day when breast cancer is only a memory.