I got an email from the American Cancer Society asking me to share this image.
Like every other bumper sticker dumb down, this doesn’t tell the whole story.
Looking at this as a 40-year-old, you might think that among you and seven of your friends, one of you has invasive breast cancer.
That’s just not true.
Here’s the truth, explained by Merck Manuals for Doctors.
In the US, cumulative risk of developing breast cancer is 12% (1 in 8) by age 95, and risk of dying of it is about 4%. Much of the risk is incurred after age 60 (see Table 2: Breast Disorders: Breast Cancer Risks). These statistics can be misleading because most people die before age 95, and cumulative risk of developing the cancer in any 20-yr period is considerably lower.
If you live to age 95, there’s a 12% chance you will have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in your life.
In fact, if I’m reading this chart right, only 1 in 1,000 40-year-old women are diagnosed with breast cancer. (told you I’m special)
It’s a scary disease, no doubt. But let’s keep our perspective.
Don’t forget — scared people are much easier to manipulate.