Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in California, regardless of race/ethnicity and an estimated 23,640 new cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among Californians in 2011.
“As the Official Sponsor of Birthdays, the American Cancer Society wants women to experience the benefits of choosing to put their health first,” said David F. Veneziano, CEO at the American Cancer Society, California Division, Inc. “Women can take action to stay well, fight breast cancer and save lives. Thanks in part to early detection and improved treatment, more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year across the nation.”
The Society asks women 40 and older to have a yearly mammogram and clinical breast exam. The Society also recommends that women ages 20 to 39 receive a clinical breast exam once every three years. The five-year survival rate is 98% for breast cancer that is diagnosed in the earliest stages.
Dr. Rosa S. Choi, American Cancer Society volunteer says “while mammography is not perfect, getting a high-quality mammogram is currently the most effective way to detect cancer early because it can identify the cancer before physical symptoms develop, when the disease is most treatable.”
Another way the American Cancer Society is helping create more birthdays is to help Californians manage their breast cancer experience when and if they are diagnosed. The Society offers newly diagnosed women and those living with breast cancer a number of programs and services to help them get well.
Among these is Reach to Recovery, which helps newly diagnosed patients cope with their breast cancer experience. Other programs and resources, like Look Good…Feel Better, help breast cancer patients manage the physical side effects of treatment while Society sponsored walks called Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, allow California communities to come together to raise funds for breast cancer research and breast cancer related patient programs. During October events will take place in 11 communities across California. For information on these events go to http://makingstrides.acsevents.org.
In addition to helping women stay well and get well, the American Cancer Society has a long history of commitment to finding cures for breast cancer. In 2011 the Society had in effect 26 grants worth more than $14 million to California research institutions to aid in breast cancer research. Nationally, the Society been an important part of nearly every major breast cancer research breakthrough of the past century, including the funding discoveries that led to the development of Tamoxifen and Herceptin, and promoting the use of mammography to screen for breast cancer.
To find out how you can become involved in the Society’s mission of creating a world with more birthdays, to access the latest cancer information or to learn more about free patient services call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.