Authored by: Cindy Sharp
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Advocate Capital’s Wellness Committee would like to help raise awareness, promote early detection and prevention, and share promising research.
Breast cancer is a worldwide health concern. It affects most families in some form. According to the World Health Organization, there are around 1.38 million new breast cancer cases reported and 458,000 deaths as a result of breast cancer per year. It is the most common type of cancer in women worldwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States:
- Over 245,000 women get breast cancer, and more than 40,000 die from it each year in the United Sates.
- Men also get breast cancer; however, it is not as common. The CDC states, “Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.”
- Although breast cancer is mostly found in women who are 50 years old or older, younger women are also affected.The CDC reports that “About 10% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.”
NationalBreastCancer.org reports that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Although you cannot prevent cancer, some habits that can help reduce your risk are:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stay physically active.
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
- Do not smoke.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
Mammogram screenings are recommended for women over the age of 40 with average risk. There have been changes to the guidelines and conflicting advice from various groups. However, the American Cancer Society, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and many others agree that annual mammograms are best from age 40 to 50.
Advances in genetic testing and innovations in the treatment of breast cancer continue. Medicalnewstoday.com featured an article showcasing how Oolong tea extract attacks breast cancer cells.
The good news, according to NationalBreastCancer.org, is that in recent years, there has been a decline in both new cases as well as deaths. These reductions are attributable to several factors including a decline in hormone replacement therapy after menopause, better screening for early detection, and advancements in treatment options.
Speak to your doctor or medical professional about your risk factors. Get the screenings they recommend. Early detection is the key to a higher survival rate.
Visit NationalBreastCancer.org for more information.
Advocate Capital, Inc. values employee wellness and launched a wellness program in 2016. Since the program’s launch, employees have enjoyed walking/fitness competitions, monthly yoga and T’ai Chi classes, healthy snacks in company breakrooms, a monthly healthy cooking club, CPR courses, education courses and more.
Photo Credit: Katarzyna Białasiewicz