In South Carolina, approximately 3,845 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 678 die from the disease each year. Breast cancer starts when the cells in the breast begin to grow abnormally. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on a mammogram or felt as a lump. Breast cancer occurs most commonly in women, but men can get it, too.
The USPSTF (U.S. Preventative Services Task Force) recommends that women in their 40s should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms, and women ages 50-74 should get mammograms every other year. Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been declining, largely believed to be the result of early detection through screening, increased awareness and improved treatment. Currently, there are 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S., including women still being treated and those who have completed treatment. Survivors face a lifetime of follow-up care and residual worries about life after breast cancer, including possible recurrence.