October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, with a flurry of activity directed towards “Race for the Cure,” pink ribbons on posters and products, and people on street corners with butterfly nets to accept donations to defeat breast cancer. Yet with all this activity over the past 30 years we are no closer to any cure, and breast cancer rates have escalated.
According to the National Cancer Institute, incidences of breast cancer in the US have risen during the past thirty years from 1 in 30, to 1 in 8 women life time risk (1). Agencies that track these statistics are concerned that in the next 10 years it may reach 1 in five. In Oregon where I practice, we have consistently been among the top five states for breast cancer incidence, and now rank second highest per capita. This is an epidemic!