According to top New York late diagnosis of breast cancer lawyer, report shows non-Hispanic white women in the State of New York have one of the highest incidences of breast cancer in the country.
Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society (ACS) updated its Breast Cancer: Facts and Figures publication for 2015-2016. This informative document spans over 40 pages and provides an in-depth look into the facts surrounding the disease, as well as diagnosis and survival statistics, treatment options, and suggestions related to prevention.
One of the most stunning statistics related to breast cancer is its incidence rate: roughly one in eight American women will be diagnosed with the disease in her lifetime (12.3%). Another sobering fact: breast cancer claims the lives of more American women than any other form of cancer, with the exception of lung disease.
The ACS estimates that over 392,000 cases of invasive and in situ breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women in 2015, and that over 40,000 women will die from the disease. Though far less common, breast cancer in men does exist; roughly 2,350 men will receive the diagnosis over the course of this year, and approximately 440 men will die from it.
Breast cancer risk factors are complex and manifold, ranging from age and ethnicity to family history, lifestyle (including physical activity, diet, and tobacco and alcohol use), and even environmental influences. Other factors, once thought to have contributed to the risk of contracting the disease (hair dye and antiperspirant, for example), have since been disproven.
Another significant set of data within the publication concerns the breakdown of occurrences of breast cancer by state (as well as within the District of Columbia). At a rate of nearly 139 women per 100,000, non-Hispanic white women in the state of New York have one of the highest incidences of breast cancer in the country. (Statistics regarding Non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Island New Yorkers are more within the national average; it is worth noting, however, that the percentage of deaths due to breast cancer is much higher nationally among black women than among white women.) While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons for geographical and racial discrepancies in rate of incidence, the publication does discuss several potential reasons behind trends in diagnosis over the last several decades; these include an increase in mammography screening and the fact that American women tend to have children at an older age now than they did several decades ago (delayed childbirth has been identified as a risk factor for breast cancer).
The ACS stresses that, regardless of its cause, two courses of action are crucial in the fight against breast cancer:
Prevention through nutrition and physical activity. Tragically, a diagnosis of breast cancer is unavoidable for many healthy, active women. But in general, adopting good eating habits and maintaining a healthy weight throughout the course of one’s life is thought to help minimize the risk of contracting this disease. Women (and men) are advised to follow a diet that is low in fat and high in vegetables and fruits, and to limit their intake of red and processed meat. Alcohol should be drunk in moderation (no more than one drink per day for women), and at least two and a half hours of physical activity per week is recommended. Those who smoke should quit immediately, as smoking is a known factor not only for breast cancer, but for lung cancer and other deadly diseases as well.
Early detection. Invasive breast cancer is classifiedusing two different systems: the TNM classification and the SEER Summary Stage system. TNM classification comprises stages ranging from 0 to IV, with IV being the most advanced. SEER includes three stages, local, regional, and distant, with distant being the most advanced.
Generally speaking, breast cancer treatment is more effective when the disease is detected earlier, or if the classification of cancer is less advanced. Mammography is the most common form of screening for the disease; MRI and breast ultrasound are sometimes used in tandem with mammography, particularly if a mammogram returns an abnormal result. The ACS recommends that average-risk women ages 45 and older undergo mammograms yearly until age 55, and every other year thereafter. This allows for early detecting of potentially aggressive tumors, since breast cancer very often does not present any noticeable symptoms at its outset. Early detection and diagnosis also allows for more diversity in treatment options.
“I know early detection saves lives”, Jay W. Dankner of the New York based medical malpractice law firm of Dankner Milstein, PC said, “because it saved my wife’s life. As a 19 year breast cancer survivor, she now devotes her efforts to campaigning for early mammography, self –examination and other diagnostic tools to either diagnose an early cancer or to set a baseline for monitoring suspicious findings.
“Because it is so personal to us at our firm,” he added, “we look very carefully at possible misdiagnosis or late diagnosis cases that come to our office. We have and continue to handle many cases where a radiologist, or other physician, either misread films or failed to communicate the results of a mammogram or, sometimes, failed to advise the patient to get a mammogram. The result is often tragic and worse, preventable.”
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