The Lighthouse Project

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  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

  • In 2017, an estimated 255,180 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

  • About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2017. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.

  • *Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.

  • *About 40,610 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.

  • *For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
    *Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2016, it's estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.

  • *In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower.

  • *In 2016, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.

  • *A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.

  • *Adults 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the HYPERLINK ""BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. On average, women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 45%. Breast cancer that is positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, BRCA2 mutations are associated with a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 6.8%; BRCA1 mutations are a less frequent cause of breast cancer in men.

  • *About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.

  • *The most significant HYPERLINK ""risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).

Breast Cancer is a global epidemic.  The diagnosis frequency devastates most racial and ethnic groups including Africa-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asia/Pacific Islanders.  While breast cancer involves many mysteries, one clear fact is that the development and mortality rates differ among ethnic groups.

Even though African-American women are three times less likely to develop breast cancer, they are three times more likely to die from the disease.  Medical authorities unanimously agree that this disparity is largely due to late stage diagnosis, subsequent to access barriers such as screening facilities, mammography, and health insurance.

The Sherri Arnold Graham Foundation works to reverse the incidence of late stage diagnosis and the corresponding health disparities through "Awareness Campaigns, Health Education, and Mammography Outreach."  In the event of a breast cancer storm, this foundation serves as a lighthouse to families in crisis with compassionate support.

The operational methodology of this ministry enterprise is called "Lighthouse Communications," whereby we relay healthcare information to persons in crisis or at risk.  Our services and literature are free of charge and available in both English and Spanish.

The three main goals of Lighthouse Communications are:
  1. Breast Health Awareness, Health Education and Mammography Outreach;
  2. Helping people navigate the rough waters of physical afflictions; and
  3. Reducing the unacceptable health disparities in African-American, Hispanic and other minority communities.
Inspirational Relaxation Baskets and Post-Operative Meals are distributed by request at the point of diagnosis and upon hospital discharge, respectively.   Learn more about our gift baskets

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