October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Dear Haverford,

October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the week after fall break, we will be tabling in the Dining Center to hand out pink ribbons for FREE to help spread the awareness. Additionally, the Women’s Center staff and intern have placed a breast cancer self-exam guide on every shower head on the campus!

***Few Q&A from www.nbcam.org/

Q: What is breast cancer?
A: Breast cancer is cancer that forms in tissues of the breast, usually the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) and lobules (glands that make milk). It occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare.

Q: How common is breast cancer in the United States?
A: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, aside from skin cancer.

Q: How many new cases of breast cancer were estimated in the United States in 2009?
A: According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States last year. Approximately 1,910 new cases are expected in men. The ACS also reports that an estimated 40,610 breast cancer deaths are expected in 2009 (40,170 women, 440 men).

Q: How can women get low-cost or free mammograms?
A: For information on low- or no cost mammography screening, contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at (888) 842-6355 or visit their Web site at www.cdc.gov. Women seeking mammograms at a reduced rate are urged to make their appointment early in the year, as space may be limited. To find a breast-imaging facility, contact the National Cancer Institute at (800) 4-CANCER.

***Other risk factors – and lifestyle choices to avoid them***
Common to all women are daily lifestyle decisions that may affect breast cancer risk. These day-to-day choices involve factors such as poor diet, insufficient physical activity, alcohol use, and smoking. Besides possibly reducing breast cancer risk, lifestyle improvements represent smart steps for a healthier life, since they can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic, life-threatening conditions.

*Decrease your daily fat intake – especially saturated or hydrogenated fats. Eat leaner meats and limit red meat. Reducing your fat intake helps prevent other health problems such as heart disease and stroke and may reduce your chance of developing breast and colon cancers.

*Increase fiber in your diet. Fiber is found in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. This type of diet is beneficial for your heart and can help prevent other cancers such as colon cancer.

*Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to their fiber content, fruits and vegetables have antioxidant properties and micronutrients that may help prevent some cancers.
Limit alcohol. Evidence suggests that a small increase in risk exists for women who average two or more drinks per day (beer, wine, and distilled liquor).

*Stay active. The U.S. Surgeon General has recently reported that you can help prevent many health problems by engaging in a moderate amount of physical activity (such as taking a brisk, 30-minute walk) on most days of the week. Strive to maintain the body weight recommended by a health professional, since excess fat may stimulate estrogen production.

*Don’t smoke. Although smoking doesn’t cause breast cancer, it can increase the chance of blood clots, heart disease, and other cancers that may spread to the breast.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at womenctr@haverford.edu

Love,

Sumin

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