NEW WINDSOR — The American Cancer Society united local government officials representing the Hudson Valley Region, plus corporate leaders, breast cancer survivors and supporters, in the first ever “Hudson Valley Goes Pink” day on October 1 at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. County Executives and leadership spoke about what each county is doing to increase awareness and education to support residents. The American Cancer Society presented opportunities and activities open to the public to support the issue through involvement in breast cancer programs, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Real Men Wear Pink.
“Thanks to largely stable incidence rates, improved treatment, as well as earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, a woman’s risk of dying of breast cancer dropped 39 percent between the late 1980s and 2015, translating into more than 300,000 breast cancer deaths avoided during that time,” says Patti Lestrange Mack, Communications Director, American Cancer Society.
Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer. There is still a large racial gap in mortality, with African-American women having higher death rates compared to whites, even as incidence rates are similar. “As National Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins, remarkable progress against the disease should not obscure the significant challenges remaining, hence why awareness and early detection measures remain critical to achieving our mission,” Mack added.
“We are committed to saving more lives from breast cancer by ensuring everyone has equal access to critical breast cancer education, screening resources, and follow-up care,” said Chloe Lipman, Executive Director for the American Cancer Society. “In collaboration with community and corporate partners like those joining us at Hudson Valley Goes Pink today we are working to help women who experience barriers to care, including the uninsured and underinsured, get access to potentially life-saving breast cancer screenings and care.”
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
Starting at age 40, women should begin having a conversation with their doctor about the breast cancer screening plan that’s best for them. Once they have their initial mammogram, it’s important for them to have ongoing conversations with their doctor about regular, follow-up care. Visit cancer.org for more information on cancer screening.
The American Cancer Society provides activities during October to promote breast cancer awareness, education while making a significant impact in the Hudson Valley Region.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
The American Cancer Society hosts breast cancer survivor receptions and opportunities for the public to unite in the breast cancer movement through the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks set for Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 9:00am at Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets, 498 Red Apple Ct, Central Valley, NY 10917 (www.makingstrideswalk.org/hudsonvalley) Westchester and on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY, beginning at 9:30 a.m. (www.makingstrideswalk.org/westchester)
Real Men Wear Pink
Real Men Wear Pink was created to give men a greater presence in the fight against breast cancer. This unique initiative begins with nominating local male leaders to spearhead fundraising for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer initiatives and commit to wearing pink every day in October to shed light on their efforts and raise awareness by leveraging personal connections, professional and social networks. Men are invited to participate throughout the month. To learn more about this campaign, visit cancer.org/realmenwearpink.
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2018 are:
About 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
About 63,960 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
About 40,920 women will die from breast cancer.
While black and white women get breast cancer at roughly the same rate, the mortality rate is 42% higher among black women than white women.
At this time, there are more than 3.1 million people with a history of breast cancer in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)
Numerous studies have confirmed that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer in women by about 7%-10% for each one drink of alcohol consumed per day on average. Women who have 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day have a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to non-drinkers.
Obesity increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Risk is about 1.5 times higher in overweight women and about 2 times higher in obese women than in lean women.
Growing evidence suggests that women who get regular physical activity have a 10%-25% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who are inactive, with stronger evidence for postmenopausal than premenopausal women.
Limited but accumulating research indicates that smoking may slightly increase breast cancer risk, particularly long-term, heavy smoking and among women who start smoking before their first pregnancy.
What the American Cancer Society is Doing
The ACS currently funds 155 multi-year grants focused on breast cancer totaling $60.2 million. We have played a key role in many of the advances against breast cancer, including funding early work that eventually led to the development of tamoxifen and Herceptin.
Igniting more than 250 communities nationwide, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a leading way for communities to participate in fighting cancer. www.makingstrideswalk.org.
If you or someone you love are concerned about developing breast cancer, has been recently diagnosed, are going through treatment, or are trying to stay well after treatment, the American Cancer Society provides important information, resources and local programs available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800.227.2345 or via chat at cancer.org.
The American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is also working to make fighting breast cancer a national priority. ACS CAN is committed to ensuring that all women have the opportunity to receive lifesaving cancer screenings and services. Working in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., ACS CAN advocates for adequate funding for early detection programs that provide access to affordable breast cancer screenings and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women. To learn more about ACS CAN’s advocacy work and to help make fighting breast cancer a priority in your community, visit acscan.org/makingstrides.