Breast Cancer facts will be the subject of many events, commentaries, and blogs over the next few weeks.  October features a global recognition of the meaning of pink.

Likewise, Altiora Plastic Surgery & Medispa recognizes the campaign for Breast Cancer awareness.  We are wearing our pink ribbons and we hope you are doing the same.  Thus, we pause in the pursuit of our typical blogging topics in order to dedicate some time (and words) to honor the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign of October.

Breast Cancer Pink:  As Strong As Steel

We all recognize the symbols of Breast Cancer Awareness:  The Pink.  The Ribbons.  The ideas of pink as a color and ribbons as fabric are soft, delicate and sweet, even demure. But let’s explore those concepts for a moment.

Breast Cancer Awareness Symbols.

Breast Cancer Awareness Often Includes Ribbons of Faith, Hope, and Courage.

Survivors are tough, strong, and confident.  To reference an old slogan, they fight like girls, and by that, we don’t mean “demurely.”

Here in Sarasota, we realize that Pink stands for more than just a pretty, feminine colored ribbon we wear on our collars and lapels.  This color stands for strength, hope, and support.

Breast Cancer Awareness From the Survivor’s Side:  Pink Power

Thus, we cannot help but note what a pink issue of FLORIDA TODAY recently remarked:  “But make no mistake.  We’re not pink because we think there is anything soft or cute or cuddly about cancer.”  And they added, “We know for some of our readers, FLORIDA TODAY turning pink is a reminder of their own fight against cancer and what they have endured.  For them, pink represents something horrifying and ugly. For them, pink represents physical, emotional and financial struggles.  We do not make light of that pain.”

Likewise, here at Altiora Plastic Surgery & Medspa, we also understand a small percentage of what survivors perceive.  We think survivors see through the soft pink surface to the white heart of power.  They do this as they support each other in the courageous reality of defeating an ugly, brutal disease.

So, let’s look at a few ugly, frightening statistics without wrapping them in pretty pink ribbons.

Fact One:  Breast Cancer Risks Are Still High if  You are a Woman

About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.  Do you realize that is about 12.4%? In 2018, healthcare professionals continue to expect a grand total of 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer.

Breast Cancer facts can be brutal.

Breast Cancer Facts and Statistics Do Not Always Tell the Whole Story of an Individual’s Fight and Bravery.

Furthermore, doctors have already diagnosed (or will diagnose, within the next 2 months,) 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

Contrast this with the statistic that breast cancer will strike about 2,550 men, according to statistics from this year.  Did you know a man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000?

Fact Two:  Not Every Woman Will Wear a Pink Ribbon in 2019

Statistics sound so hard, cold, and immutable.  “About 40,920 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2018 from breast cancer.”  If this statistic includes your mom, daughter, wife or best friend, it is cold comfort that the rest of the statistic includes the fact that death rates have been decreasing strongly and steadily since 1989.  Nevertheless, this does lead us to our third special statistic. 

Fact Three:  Younger Women are Surviving

Women under 50 years of age have experienced larger decreases.  There are three reasons and we owe them all to the passion beneath the pink ribbon movement.  Without that passion there might not have been the resources for the research for:

Breast Cancer Supporters Walk and Run with Courage for Survivors.

Walking Strong at Every Age: Cancer Survivors and Supporters Smile Through the challenge. 

  • Advancement in treatment protocols,
  • Earlier detection through screening,
  • And, last but not least, we credit an increased awareness of the disease.

Fact Four:  Still the Highest Statistic

Breast cancer death rates remain higher than those of any other cancer with the exception of Lung Cancer and certain deadly skin cancers.

Besides skin cancer, did you know breast cancer remains the most typically diagnosed cancer among American women?  As of 2017, it was predicted that 30% of the new cancers in women would be breast cancers.

Fact Five:  A Bright Silver Lining in a Pink Cloud

There is good news in the statistics.  They are not all cold, ugly or depressing numbers.  You see, there are now more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. who are alive.

This stunning number includes women who are still being treated and women who have finished the treatment.  Now that is a statistic to celebrate with fancy balloons, pink cupcakes, and foot races.

Of course, we have more facts to share with you, perhaps in another October blog.  But for now, we close this blog with this almost incredible–and beautiful– statistic.   3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer are alive.

Breast Cancer Awareness:   A Unique Sarasota Badge of Support

Underlying the statistics in this blog has been our amazement at the courage, strength, and confidence of breast cancer survivors.  We are especially happy that many of the members of the Sarasota Police Department share our enthusiasm.

You will see their support reflected strongly in the wearing pink badges on their shirts.  They made it official, but voluntary.  Chief DiPino announced that he had “authorized our Officers to wear a pink shroud, badge, ribbon or pin voluntarily during the month of October.”  And we send a big “Bravo,” to them for their wonderful pink salute.