"Breast Cancer Awareness month is coming to a close. And I am grateful. Every year it brings a sea of pink and this year was no different. But has anything meaningful changed from last year? Have we made progress?
In 2010, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) launched Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, our campaign to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. We pledged to be transparent, and to issue annual reports on progress in breast cancer and in our campaign. Our 2013 Progress Report, read in the context of the baseline 2011 report, addresses those issues.
At NBCC, we assess progress from the perspective of advocates, primarily women or men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, many of us living with metastatic disease or the risk of it. Our mission is to end breast cancer for everyone and that is the lens through which we view progress. And the best measure of progress is lives saved.
What is the current state of progress? In 2010, globally, 438,000 women died of breast cancer.
Continuing at the same rate of "progress," by 2030, that number is expected to be 747,802. This past year in the U.S., 39,620 women and 410 men died of breast cancer. While it is good news that the U.S. mortality rate has been decreasing, the rate of decrease has slowed. Not what we expect from progress. And that measure can be misleading as it is based on breast cancer deaths, and does not include deaths from treatments."