October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer issues. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), women in the United States have a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Approximately 184,000 new invasive cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, and 41,200 will die of the disease.
The number of deaths due to breast cancer could be greatly reduced if more women had an annual mammogram starting at the age of 40, had a yearly breast exam by a physician and practiced monthly breast self-examinations. This combination is so effective, in fact, that breast cancer is 97 percent curable when detected and treated in its localized stage.
The American Cancer Society offers opportunities for volunteers to join the fight against breast cancer through several programs, including Reach to Recovery, a program designed to give a support to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the Tell A Friend program for early detection. The Tell A Friend program is structured so that trained volunteers call and tell their friends age 40 and over how mammography screening should be a routine part of their annual health care plan.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities in your community, or to obtain information regarding breast cancer, please contact the American Cancer Society anytime at 1-800-ACS-2345, or visit www.cancer.org.