Breast Cancer: Making the right decisions for your health

During the last month you will have seen a number of ribbons throughout the paper in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Editor’s note: During the last month you will have seen a number of ribbons throughout the paper in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. A portion of the money from these ads will be donated to the Breast Cancer Support Group.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual month-long campaign whose goal is to educate the public about the risks of breast cancer. It also provides invaluable information to at-risk women on how they can protect themselves or at least reduce their chances of developing this often-deadly disease.

 

In addition to being the most common type of cancer to strike women, breast cancer is also the number two killer of Canadian women among all forms of cancer.

In Canada, breast cancer is the most widespread cancer in women under 50 years old. Awareness and a healthy lifestyle significantly contribute to effectively combat this affliction. October is dedicated to raising the awareness of breast cancer in Canada.

According to a special report of Canadian statistics on breast cancer, published by the Canadian Cancer Society, it is estimated that over 22,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Canada in 2007; of which, 5,300 will die. In spite of these statistics, the mortality rate for breast cancer has declined and early detection is one of the most plausible explanations for this trend. In fact, the mortality rate due to breast cancer could be reduced by 25% with more frequent screenings, including mammographies and clinical breast exams.

Did you know that adopting a healthy lifestyle could prevent at least 50% of cancers? The different factors known to influence the risks of developing breast cancer are: lifestyle habits, heredity, as well as reproductive and hormonal factors.

Prevention

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that women between the ages of 50 and 69 have a mammography every two years; those over 40 years old are advised to visit their doctor every two years for a clinical breast exam, in addition to regular breast self-exams. Of course, it is important to alert your doctor to any changes you may detect.

These preventive measures can diminish the risks of developing breast cancer.