We Can All Make a Difference in the Fight Against Breast Cancer: Step Up Today

In January 2021, there were 3.8 million women living in the United States with a history of breast cancer according to the statistics.

One in eight women U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime, and it is projected 281,550 new cases this year. These eye-opening numbers include women who are undergoing treatment or have finished their treatment.  If those statistics don't get your attention, 43,600 women are expected to die from breast cancer in 2021.

The good news about breast cancer is there is more public awareness taking shape educating women and there is a more positive prognosis than ever according to the experts.  WebMD explains, "Breast cancer isn't what it was 20 years ago.  Survival rates are climbing thanks to awareness, more education, and advances in treatment." Even more encouraging, if the disease is caught early, women with breast cancer have a survival rate of 99 %. However, if cancer has spread the survival rate shrinks to 28%.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so please help us spread the word to help keep women safe and healthy.  It was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries/Astra Zeneca to increase awareness of the disease.  The ambitious plan is to help raise money for research in hopes of determining the cause, prevention, treatment, and cure.

You may not be able to change your family history with breast cancer, but these tips by the Mayo Clinic  can help lower your risk of developing the disease.  To reduce your risk:

Limit alcohol: health studies show by limiting alcohol you reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.  Also, the Mayo Clinic experts say the more alcohol you consume the greater higher your risk of getting breast cancer.  Even though small amounts of alcohol increase your risks, the recommendation is to limit yourself to one drink per day.

Maintain a healthy weight- if you are at a healthy weight, try to maintain that weight if possible.  If you are struggling to stabilize your weight, ask your doctor for healthy strategies to accomplish your goal. The National Institute on Aging recommends limiting your portion sizes during meals to control calorie intake.  If you need to put on additional weight, consider healthy snacks during the day.

Be physically active- one of the best tips to prevent breast cancer and maintaining a healthy weight is being physically active.  There are many ways to accomplish this from walking in the neighborhood with a friend or joining an aerobics class in town.  If you prefer to accomplish this on your own, you can access lots of free classes by just turning on your television.  The experts recommend 150 minutes  for moderate aerobic activity every week, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, and try to integrate some form of strength training if possible.  For older adults, you may consider modifying your routine.

Breastfeeding- the American Institute of Cancer Research reports breastfeeding reduces the risk of post- and pre-menopausal breast cancer.  The reports indicate that the more you breastfeed, the greater the protective effect.

We all can engage in Breast Cancer Awareness Month to make a difference in the fight against the dreadful disease by doing things large or small.  You can organize a fundraiser, make a donation, wear pink, or getting involved on social media by sharing your support.   


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