By Nikkie Sardelli
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In just this year alone, approximately 231,840 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and of that number, a saddening 40,290 will lose the battle. This is 40,290 too many.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the U.S., and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Additionally, there will be about 2,350 men diagnosed, with about 440 of them losing their battle.
The American Cancer Society is involved through their annual nationwide Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. The nearest event is being held in Naples on October 17th at Cambier Park; the event is a 5K fundraising walk to raise awareness and funds to end breast cancer. For more information please visit www.MakingStridesWalk.org/naples.
It is important to have regular mammography (mammogram) screenings in order to catch breast cancer early, which provides the optimal chances of fighting the disease.
Here are some lifestyle-related risk factors for breast cancer; these do not, however, mean that by having these risk factors a person will develop cancer. Yet, avoiding these will help reduce your potential risk. Women who have had no children or who had their first child after age 30, women using contraceptives (birth control pills, or DMPA; Depo-Provera), yet this risk decreases over time once stopping use, hormone therapy after menopause (estrogen and progesterone), alcohol consumption between 2-5 drinks daily, or being overweight or obese after menopause. More detailed information on these risk factors as well as other helpful information on breast cancer, and other types of cancer can be found at www.cancer.org.
Today, we challenge you, the reader, to take what you know about breast cancer, and turn it into what you can do about it. Two ways that you can be involved in the fight are, by supporting a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event near you, and encouraging the women in your life who are 40 or older to talk to their health care provider about breast cancer screening plans that are best for them. Together, the impact on cancer is greater, and we can ensure no one has to face this disease alone.
Want to test your Breast Cancer IQ? Courtesy of www.cancer.org, we have provided a six-question quiz about common beliefs. All answers are True or False.
(Answers: 1-True, 2-False, 3-True, 4-True, 5-False, 6-False)
For more information on breast cancer, please visit our website www.cancer.org, or call our national number 1-800-227-2345 to speak with a specialist.
If you would like to make a donation or become one of our amazing volunteers, please contact Nikkie Sardelli, coordinator division office & event support for the Marco Island Unit, at 239-642-8800 ext. 3894.
Please support the American Cancer Society’s work towards creating a world with more birthdays.
Breast Cancer IQ
T/F You can get breast cancer even if it doesn’t run in your family.
T/F If breast cancer runs in your family, you’re sure to get it.
T/F You still need mammograms after menopause.
T/F Men can get breast cancer.
T/F Surgery and needle biopsies can cause breast cancer to spread.
T/F There’s nothing you can do to lower your breast cancer risk.