Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Know the Facts:
  • One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • In 2013, an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women.
  • In 2013, an estimated 39,620 U.S. women will die from breast cancer.
  • The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. Approximately 77% of women with breast cancer are over the age of 50 at the time of diagnosis.
  • Although overall incidence is highest for Caucasian women, African Americans have the highest mortality rate from breast cancer. Caucasian women have the second highest mortality rate, followed by American Indian/Alaska Natives, Hispanic/Latinos, and Asian American/ Pacific Islanders.
  • When detected and treated early, 5-year relative survival for localized breast cancer is 98%.
  • Female gender is the most important risk factor for breast cancer. Men can develop breast cancer, but the risk for females is about 100 times greater
  •  Risk is increased for women whose close relatives have breast cancer. In general, the more biological relatives with breast cancer, especially relatives diagnosed before age 50, the higher a woman's risk. Less than15% of women with breast cancer have a positive family history in a first degree relative.

Reduce Your Risk:
  • Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer
  • Don't smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women.
  • Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer.
  • Breast-feed. Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution.Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation, which have been linked with breast cancer risk. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to the chemicals found in some workplaces, gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust.
  • Perform Monthly Breast Exams. You can learn how to properly do one here.

How You Can Help:
  • Donate. Toward breast cancer research. You can do this directly on the Susan G. Komen website.
  • Run in Race for the Cure. There are races taking place all over the country.
  • Shop. There is merchandise available where some or all of the proceeds go toward research. You can buy things like ribbons, tee shirts, bracelets, water bottles, key chains, and lots of other things to show your support. You can even get a tattoo!

Make this Breast Cancer Awareness Month Count!

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