Pink is October’s new orange now that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is such a popular cause.
Now’s a good time to schedule a mammogram (if you haven’t done so) and to help raise awareness and funds for research. So, paint your pumpkins pink, run a pink mile, and
flaunt your hot pink sunnies, hats and tees wherever you go.
Men, you too.
Optimism about this disease is on the rise. With better detection methods and new treatments, breast cancer is becoming easier to detect and treat or cure.
But as Dr. Kristi Funk, a breast cancer surgeon, a frequent co-host on The Doctors, and breast cancer expert on Good Morning America puts it: “The easiest cancer to cure is the
one you never get.”
In the vein of finding the “easiest cancer to cure,” here are some lifestyle choices that can increase or decrease your chances of getting the disease.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) warns that drinking alcohol in excess is linked to an increase in breast and other cancers. They recommend that women who consume alcohol have no more than one drink a day; those who partake in two or three in a day are at a 20% higher risk compared to those who refrain altogether.
The ACS also recommends that people maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Being overweight or obese after menopause presents an increased risk for breast cancer, as the excess fat tissue can raise estrogen and insulin levels, which have been linked to some cancers, including breast.
Evidence is growing that regular physical activity reduces your cancer risk, especially in post-menopausal women. Some studies indicate that just a couple of hours a week may be
beneficial, but more seems to be better. The ACS recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you feel the need to use hormone therapy, birth control implants, IUDs, skin patches, or vaginal rings, which may also increase risk through the
delivery of hormones.
For more information, visit the American Cancer Society at cancer.org or read Dr. Funk’s book, Breasts: The Owner’s Manual: Every Woman’s Guide to Reducing Cancer Risk,
Making Treatment Choices, and Optimizing Outcomes. You can check out Kathy Megyeri’s review of the book in this issue.
Breast cancer is the leading killer of women ages 20-59; the likelihood of it rises with age, with one in eight women having the disease in her lifetime. Men are also at risk, so they should report any unusual lumps in the chest, armpit or collarbone to their doctor immediately.
In this issue, we share stories of celebrities (male and female) who have battled breast cancer and continue the fight by raising awareness and funds for a cure.
Wouldn’t it be great if a cure is found and October didn’t have to be pink anymore?
Terri Bryce Reeves, Editor
“ Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”