Senate Report: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The National Breast Cancer Awareness month has educated women about breast cancer, especially the importance of early detection for close to 40 years. I cannot stress the importance of detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages through screening mammography, clinical breast exams, and breast self- examination.
Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Just under 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers. 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s estimated in 2022, that 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 51,400 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States . It’s also estimated that 2,170 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022.
Women with breast cancer diagnosed at the earliest stage (Stage 1), before the cancer has had time to spread to lymph nodes or other locations outside the breast, have a 99% chance of surviving at least 5 years. Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer after the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes (Stages 2 and 3), have an 84% chance of surviving at least 5 years. Once breast cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes or organs throughout the body (Stage 4), the 5-year survival rate falls to 23%.
Thanks in part to breast cancer screening/early detection, long-term survival rates for breast cancer have improved dramatically over the last several decades. In the 1960s, 63 out of 100 women diagnosed with breast cancer were still living 5 years following their diagnosis of breast cancer. Today, 90 out of 100 women diagnosed with breast cancer are still living 5 years following diagnosis. In addition, today 82 out of 100 women diagnosed with breast cancer are living at least 10 years following diagnosis, and 77 out of 100 are living at least 15 years.
The third Friday in October of every year is National Mammography Day, which was first proclaimed by President Clinton in 1993. I urge women to make appointments to receive a mammogram. On average, mammography will detect 80% to 90% of breast cancers in women that have no symptoms. The early detection of breast cancer through the use of mammograms is a women’s best opportunity at survival of breast cancer. The early detection of breast cancer followed by treatment has saved many lives.
Please remind your loved ones to do self examinations to ensure that if they should detect a lump that the doctors can catch it early. In 2022, there are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Early detection is key to helping women win the battle against breast cancer and be amongst these survivors.
As with all matters concerning state government, I want to hear your opinions and suggestions concerning these issues. Please contact me in my Columbia office located at 602 Gressette Office Building. You can reach me, or a member of my staff in Columbia at (803) 212-6008 or by fax at (803) 212-6011. My district office is located at 2523 East Highway 76, Marion, SC 29571, the phone number is (843) 423-8237 and the fax number is (843) 431-6049. You may also email me at My business phone is (843) 423-3904. Please use this information to write, call or email me with your suggestions and concerns regarding issues before the Senate and in our community.

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