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girls in pink hands down altogether in joining breast cancer campaign

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Now is a good time to educate yourself about this killer disease that affects so many wonderful women we know and love. Learn the risks and benefits of screening and implement the factors of prevention when applicable.

Breast cancer affects approximately 1 in 8 women in America. About 40,290 women in America are expected to die in 2015 from breast cancer. Be informed; consult with your doctor about prevention and screening. Donating a car can help breast cancer prevention.

What is Cancer?

Cancer begins when cells grow out of control in the body. Breast cancer is when these cells grow as a malignant tumor in the breast tissue. This affects mostly women but men are also at a low risk. Women all over the U.S. are helped by the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation

What is Breast Cancer Prevention?

Prevention is taking steps to lower the chance of actually getting breast cancer. LOWERING risk factors by ending habits that cause risk to a person and INCREASING habits that help prevent cancer are good ways to help prevent the disease. There are some risks of breast cancer that cannot be avoided such as family history, density of breast tissue, gender and age. These factor into risks for breast cancer, as well, but cannot be avoided.

Habits to Avoid

  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Drugs
  • Eating too much soy (soy has high amounts of estrogen in it which can increase risk of cancer)

Things to Consider to Decrease Your Risk

  • Regular vigorous exercise (at least 5 times a week)
  • Eating healthy
  • Drink at least eight – 8 ounce glasses of clean water a day
  • Get enough sleep
  • Breast feeding
  • Regular self -breast exams- monthly “KNOW YOUR BREASTS”

What is Breast Cancer Screening?

Screening is using a test to determine if a person is at risk and should be tested further. Such screening is usually done with a mammogram or ultrasound. Women may be pre-screened because of higher risk rate if their close relatives have already had breast cancer.

What Are the Risks to Breast Cancer Screening?

  • Finding cancer does not always ensure a woman will live longer
  • False negative and false positive tests can occur
  • Mammograms expose the breast to 200 times the radiation of a normal x-ray
  • Test can be very uncomfortable

What are the Benefits of Breast Cancer Screening?

  • Early detection increases survivor rates
  • A base mammogram at age 40-45 can help doctors see a history
  • Potential longer life if treatment is needed and applied

Make sure you are conducting your own breast exams routinely and going in for regular mammograms and check-ups if you are in the age range or have breast cancer in your family. Help prevent breast cancer by encouraging awareness this month and consider donating an unwanted car to this great cause.