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American Cancer Society encourages women to put their health first

By Staff | Oct 18, 2010

As the nation marks the annual National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Cancer Society is encouraging women to choose to put their personal breast health first to stay well and reduce their risk of breast cancer.

Pump It Up will be hosting a fundraiser to support the American Cancer Society on Thursday, Oct. 21 from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at their Fort Myers location, at 4331 Veronica Shoemaker Parkway. The cost is $10 per child ages 2 to 12 with net proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. The fundraiser will help to save lives and create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays.

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Annual Walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Tanger Outlets on Summerlin Road. The survivor breakfast and registration will be at 7 a.m. and general registration will also begin at 7 a.m. with the walk beginning at 8 a.m.

Survivors are still encouraged to contact the local ACS office to register for the breakfast and walkers still have time to register for the walk.

The Society is reminding women 40 and older about the importance of getting a mammogram and clinical breast exam every year to find breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.

In addition, the Society recommends that women ages 20 to 39 receive a clinical breast exam once every three years. The American Cancer Society also recommends magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for certain women at high risk. Women at moderate risk should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram.

“As the Official Sponsor of Birthdays, the American Cancer Society wants women to see the real tangible benefits of choosing to put their health first,” said Darla Betzer, Executive Director at the American Cancer Society. “Women can take action and put their personal breast health first to stay well, fight breast cancer and save lives. More than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year thanks to early detection and improved treatment.”

Women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by taking additional steps to stay well by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and engaging in physical activity 45 to 60 minutes on five or more days of the week. Also, limiting alcohol consumption can reduce breast cancer risk – one or more alcoholic beverages a day may increase risk.

Another way the American Cancer Society is helping create more birthdays is to help women manage their breast cancer experience when and if they are diagnosed. The Society offers newly diagnosed women and those living with breast cancer a number of programs and services to help them get well. Among these is Reach to Recovery, which helps newly diagnosed patients cope with their breast cancer experience. Other programs and resources, like the Look Good…Feel Better program help breast cancer patients manage the physical side effects of treatment and the Hope Lodge offers patients free lodging for those receiving treatment far from home.

The Society offers information to help make treatment decisions and access to its programs everyday around the clock through 1-800-227-2345 or www.cancer.org.