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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 14, 2014

Forget autumnal colors, pink is the fashionable color for the month of October as woman across the country recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Pink ribbons take center stage in clothing and jewelry to bumper stickers and pens that are decorated with this very recognizable ribbon designed to promote education and support efforts to eliminate breast cancer.  Walks to raise funds in support of treatment and research can be found in almost every town or county across the nation.

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be approximately 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer this year.   It is the most common form of cancer among women and the second leading cause of death in women from cancer.   The chance of a woman having breast cancer is 1 in 8; the chance of dying from breast cancer is 1 in 36, but these rates have been declining due to better treatments, earlier diagnosis and advanced research.

Early detection is crucial in the fight against breast cancer.   Current guidelines for early detection include a breast exam for woman between ages 20 – 39 at least every three years.   At age 40 and over, an annual mammogram and breast examination, along with regular self breast examinations is recommended.  In addition, woman should be aware of their family history, signs and symptoms, risk factors and overall health issues.  Nutrition and physical activity play a large role in the prevention of cancer.  Maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, having a physically active lifestyle which includes at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five times a week, eating a healthy diet including fruits, vegetables and grains and limiting processed and red meats and alcohol intake all contribute to preventing cancer.

The little pink ribbon is a strong reminder to all women and those who love them to take the necessary steps to prevent breast cancer while being proactive concerning early detection.




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