October is Breast Cancer Awareness month: What to know

(WRIC/ABC) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, an annual campaign aimed to increase knowledge about the disease.

A closer look at the staggering statistics about breast cancer reveal why this is an important cause to so many.

According to the American Cancer Society, a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2 minutes. That includes everything from “stage zero” cancer (which some doctors believe shouldn’t even be called cancer) to the deadliest form: invasive breast cancer.

The organization also estimates that 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States this year. An estimated 2,350 new cases will be diagnosed in men.

In 2012, it was estimated that around 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer in women occurred worldwide, according to the  International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization.

These numbers have influenced the need for early detection, monitoring and screenings. The Food and Drug Administration says that more than 39 million mammograms are performed each year in the United States.

Those mammograms may have had an impact. The American Cancer Society reports that the breast cancer death rate is down 34 percent since 1990. As of Jan. 1, 2014, there were more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

The World Cancer Research Fund International reports that there are more than 6 million breast cancer survivors worldwide, giving many survivors a reason to celebrate this month.

ABC News contributed to this report.

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