October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What to Know

PHOTO: These staggering stats impact around 6.2 million breast cancer survivors worldwide.PlayABC
WATCH Breast Cancer 2015 by the Numbers

October marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month, an annual campaign that aims to increase knowledge and awareness of the disease.

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

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

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

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

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

And those mammograms may have had an impact. The American Cancer Society reports that the breast cancer death rate is down 34% 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.