October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Curves continues to work to raise awareness in women about the life-saving importance of risk management, early detection and treatment. Throughout the month, Curves women’s fitness centers throughout the nation are waiving the joining fee for new members who show proof of a mammogram within the past year or make a $25 donation to breast cancer research.
According to statistics from the American Cancer Society (ACS), nearly 230,480 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2011, and another 57,650 will be diagnosed with carcinoma in situ (CIS), a non-invasive, early form of breast cancer. Breast cancer remains a leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer. More than 39,500 women will die from the disease in 2011. One woman in every eight will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, each participating Curves center will focus on three important goals in supporting this annual campaign:
- Helping women learn the facts about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
- Encouraging women to work out three times a week to help reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.
- Participating in fund-raising efforts to support the research and outreach efforts of the ACS.
Since only about 5-10 percent of breast cancers are hereditary, prevention can play a key role in a woman's risk management strategy. The ACS recommends making lifestyle choices such as eating right, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight to help a woman significantly reduce her risk of developing breast cancer.
"Curves mission has always been to strengthen women," said Curves founder Diane Heavin. "Typically, women are caregivers, but when it comes to breast cancer, women need to understand how important it is to take care of themselves. Scheduling an annual doctor visit, performing a monthly breast self exam, eating a nutritious diet and making time for regular exercise are all things that a woman can do to stay strong and help reduce her chances of developing this devastating disease.”
Early detection is the next line of defense, since about 93 percent of women whose breast cancer is caught in its earliest stages will be healthy and disease-free five years after their diagnosis and treatment. Guidelines from the ACS encourage women age 40 and older to have a Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) performed by a health professional once a year, along with a mammogram. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a CBE at least every three years.
"The good news is that the ACS says that death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50," said Heavin. "We are proud of the role we play in helping to educate women about breast cancer risk factors and the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and making their own health a priority. Our goal is to see breast cancer statistics continue to reflect the positive impact that education and awareness can have."
For more information about activities in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to learn how to exercise good breast health, please visit www.curves.com