The American Cancer Society offers information, programs and services that help save lives.
Being female and increasing age are the most important risk factors for breast cancer. Other important factors that increase a woman's risk for developing breast cancer include certain inherited genetic mutations (BRCA1 and/or BRCA2), a personal or family history of breast cancer, being overweight or becoming obese after menopause, extremely high breast-tissue density as seen on mammograms, biopsy-confirmed atypical hyperplasia, a history of high-dose radiation therapy to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30, and never having children or having one's first child after 30.
The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. At this time, breast cancer cannot be prevented, which is why regular mammograms are so important. Still, there are things women can do to put their health first and help lower their risk of developing breast cancer. Women's best overall preventive health strategies are to: * Maintain a healthy body weight throughout life * Engage in regular physical activity * Reduce alcohol consumption * Stop smoking To find the Society's complete breast cancer early detection and nutrition and physical activity guidelines, visit cancer.org/breastcancer.
Today, one in every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to American Cancer Society for help and support.
The Society offers people facing breast cancer free services to overcome daily challenges, like transportation, lodging, guidance through every step of the cancer experience, and information to help them make decisions about their care.
The American Cancer Society invests in research to find, prevent, treat, and cure every cancer that affects women.
This research has changed the course of cancer, contributing to groundbreaking discoveries such as showing that mammography is the best tool available to find breast cancer early, the widespread use of the Pap test, and treatments that are saving lives.
Dr. Chris Holmes, a Society funded researcher at the University of Vermont, considers the American Cancer Society a pioneer in some of the most advanced thinking in the field of breast cancer research. Homes, M. D, Ph. D, is studying how platelets, which on average double in a woman with breast cancer, become activated in the body to help transport tumor cells and aid in the spread or metastasis of cancer.
"We now learned breast cancer itself hijacks your own platelets and makes them different," shared Dr. Holmes. "We think that causes them to be more cancer promoting. What we've learned may allow us to one day reverse the process of metastasis."
According to Dr. Holmes, researchers are testing new theories, focusing on genetic factors which can put women at risk for breast cancer, working to improve quality of life through new treatments and technologies, and looking at ways to harness a the immune system to fight the cancer.
Already 2.9 million breast cancer survivors living in America today will celebrate another birthday this year.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a nationwide event that unites communities to walk together, one million strong, as the most powerful force to end breast cancer.
Making Strides walkers turn awareness into action by raising more than $60 million each year so that the American Cancer Society can work to save lives from breast cancer.
Take action by visiting makingstrideswalk.org
For cancer information, all day, every day, call the American Cancer Society National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345, or visit cancer.org.