Star’s Corner: NAPW Goes Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Ladies, listen up! Every two minutes, a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer—that’s 720 women every day. We are NOT defenseless!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Raising Breast Cancer Awareness is all about spreading education year round. Knowledge is Power! NAPW members extend the power of awareness through their Local Chapters by promoting education for prevention, sharing stories of survival and triumph, and continuing to commit to a healthy lifestyle. By supporting the persistent progress of research, it brings scientists closer to finding a cure. Currently, there are over 3 million breast cancer survivors in the US—thanks to advancements in research and science around breast cancer prevention and treatment. Together we can fight breast cancer before it harms us and the women in our lives.
The NAPW eChapter meeting on October 7th focused on Breast Cancer Awareness and featured inspiring women who were brave enough to share details of their own health journey. I just need to say—I am truly inspired—I think everyone listening was. What an amazing group of women! This is authentic awareness at its best. I want to give a special shout out to Christina Rose, Chief Partner Officer and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, for participating and sharing about the amazing work done at the BCRF. A sincere thank you to the NAPW members on our VIP Spotlight and our panelists Dana Donofree, Founder and CEO, AnaOno; and Yelena Novik, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Trials Office, NYU Cancer Institute. Missed the NAPW Breast Cancer Awareness eChapter Meeting? Watch it here.
Here are some facts every woman should know:
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers
- About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. It is responsible for taking more women’s lives than any other form of cancer
- The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2015, about 231,840 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and about 40,290 will die from the disease
- 5% to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a genetic predisposition for the disease
- The risk of developing breast cancer increases as a woman ages
- Race and ethnicity also play a role as a risk factor—effecting more White women than any other race, and noted as the largest killer of African-American women
- For a complete list of risk factors, click here
Right now, it’s up to you to take care of yourself. Below are three things you can do for yourself to reduce the risk of breast cancer:
Be smart about what you eat and drink. A healthy diet is just good for you all-around. Limit your alcohol intake— excessive alcohol drinking has no health benefits, only health risks. Following a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products has been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer in some studies. Also, keep track of your weight. After menopause, gaining weight puts women at a higher risk level.
Many studies have shown that physical activity is linked with lower breast cancer risk. To reduce your risk of breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Early detection can save your life—and thousands of lives each year. Make yourself and your health a priority! If you are over 40 or breast cancer runs in your family, it’s important to go for annual mammograms. For younger women, Dr. Novik recommends consistent self-examinations once a month. Put it in your calendar and refrain from doing it during or around your period because hormonal changes can make your breast tissue feel tender and lumpier. Familiarize yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel. And ladies, don’t panic if you think you feel a lump. Most women have lumpy areas in their breasts all the time. In the US, only 20% of women who have a suspicious lump biopsied turn out to have breast cancer.
I’m honored to be part of such a giving organization. At NAPW, we succeed together, learn together, grow together and fight together against breast cancer. Last year, we raised nearly $12,000 on our Call For A Cure supporting NAPW Foundation partner, the BCRF. The NAPW team is taking action, representing Pink Power at the 2015 American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Awareness Walk at Jones Beach, Long Island, New York on October 18th. Our team raised over $10,000 at the 2013 walk!
NAPW goes Pink—sharing our support all throughout October. We kicked off the #NAPWGoesPink campaign at our Power Networking Event in Boston.
And in New York, National Director of NAPW Local Chapters and NYC Local Chapter President, Louise Newsome and her members powered it up in Pink at their walk / brunch to raise awareness for the disease.
Are you going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month? What is your Local Chapter doing to support the cause? Share your comments below.