By: American Cancer Society
There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, but there are things all women can do that might reduce their risk and help increase the odds that if cancer does occur, it will be found at an early and more treatable stage.
Experts at the American Cancer Society agree you can lower your risk of breast cancer by changing those risk factors that can be changed. Body weight, physical activity, and diet have all been linked to breast cancer, so these might be areas where you can take action.
Both increased body weight and weight gain as an adult are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause. Alcohol also increases risk of breast cancer. Even low levels of alcohol intake have been linked with an increase in risk. Many studies have shown that moderate to vigorous physical activity is linked with lower breast cancer risk. A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products has also been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer in some studies.
Significant progress in the fight against breast cancer has been made in recent years, but more needs to be done. Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women in the U.S. other than skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer. The chance of a woman developing invasive breast cancer at some time in her life is about 1 in 8 and in 2014, approximately 232,670 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,400 will die from the disease in the U.S.
To change these stats and the course of breast cancer forever, the American Cancer Society created Making Strides Against Breast Cancer community walks in 1993 as a rallying cry to build awareness and generate funds to fight the disease. In that time, 10 million walkers have collected more than $594 million and last year.
“Making Strides brings communities together as the most powerful force to end breast cancer,” said Jordan Buskirk, staff lead for the October 18 Los Angeles metro walk. “The progress we are making is remarkable, but more people are needed to help finish the fight.”
Making Strides proceeds are used by the American Cancer Society to fund breast cancer research grants, offer free patient/caregiver services, provide in-depth cancer information, and support legislative advocacy to make sure cancer patients have access to the care they need.
Call the American Cancer Society office at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit makingstrideswalk.org/losangeles to help continue saving lives.