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Fast Facts: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is one of the most commonly recognized forms of cancer, and for good reason. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. It is estimated that in 2020, there will be over 275,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and almost 50,000 new non-invasive cases. Aside from lung cancer, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. In the United States, on average, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. October is dedicated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month- raising awareness, education, and support to those affected.

WHA Information Center referenced claim data collected quarterly to analyze breast cancer in Wisconsin from 2017-2019. The number of inpatient visits for breast cancer decreased dramatically from 2017 to 2018, but increased from 2018 to 2019. There is not a clear trend in breast cancer cases based on these values.



The median age from women being diagnosed with breast cancer is 62 years old-the same as the national median age. The average total charge in the years 2017-2019 for a breast cancer related inpatient visit is $22,277.

Larger cities with bigger health care systems-like Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay- tend to have more visits related to breast cancer when compared to rural areas.



When looking at length of stay in an inpatient facility, 95 percent of patients did not even stay overnight. There are those patients who needed to spend more nights in the hospital, but they are much less common. 97 percent of inpatient breast cancer patients are of a non-Hispanic or Latino origin.

Myth vs Facts of Breast Cancer from BreastCancer.org

Myth: If you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, then you won’t get it.
Fact: Most people diagnosed have no family history. Only 5-10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary.

Myth: Wearing a bra can cause breast cancer.
Fact: There is no evidence by studies conducted to support this claim.

Myth: If someone carry’s a cell phone in your bra, it can cause breast cancer.
Fact: This is still being studied, but as of right now, no evidence from studies found a connection.

Myth: Breast Cancer always causes a lump that one can feel.
Facts: Breast Cancer may now always cause a lump.  

*Facts come from the American Cancer Society and BreastCancer.org.