Updated: November 25, 2012 11:36AM
A simple fact: When breast cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent.
Isn’t this something all women need to know?
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a perfect time for you to join the movement to help fight breast cancer, save more lives and create a world with more birthdays.
Every day, the American Cancer Society saves lives by helping people stay well, get well and fight back.
Two-time breast cancer survivor Mary Martinez is one of thousands of women who are champions of the efforts to help people get screening tests to find cancer early — when it is small, has not spread and is easiest to treat.
“There is no one who escapes my question: ‘When was your last mammogram?’ ” Mary says.
This year, an estimated 226,870 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).
The best way to find it early is to get a mammogram every year starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as you are in good health.
In addition, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of breast cancer, including staying at a healthy weight, staying active and limiting alcohol to no more than one drink a day, if you drink at all.
If you or a loved one is facing breast cancer, the American Cancer Society can help you through every step of the experience, so you can focus on getting well.
The society offers access to free transportation and to lodging when treatment is far from home, and can provide one-on-one support from breast cancer survivors who have been there.
The American Cancer Society is committed to relentlessly pursuing the answers that will save lives from breast cancer. In fact, the society has been a part of nearly every major breast cancer research breakthrough in recent history.
It’s easy to fight back against breast cancer. Participate in one of the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events nationwide, speak out to increase funding for programs that allow all women to have access to mammograms and treatment, or simply remind the women in your life to get regular mammograms.
October is a month to celebrate the progress we’ve made in the fight to end breast cancer and to continue to work toward a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. Countless Americans who have never had breast cancer and more than 2.9 million who are surviving the disease will celebrate a birthday this year, thanks in part to the American Cancer Society and its many supporters.
More information is at (800) 227-2345 or www.cancer.org/breastcancer.
The American Cancer Society is a member of the Southland Health Alliance.