(ARA) - Being a woman and getting older are the main risk factors for breast cancer. This year, more than 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly 40,000 women will lose their lives to the disease. Although you cannot control your sex or age, there are other factors related to personal, everyday choices that can be controlled, and may help reduce your risk for breast cancer.
Control Your Risk Factors
The risk factors you can control that may decrease your risk of getting breast cancer include: not having more than one drink of alcohol per day; not being overweight after menopause nor gaining weight as an adult; not taking birth control pills for five years or longer; and having children, especially before the age of 30.
Eat Right and Exercise
For overall wellness and also to possibly decrease the risk for developing breast cancer, it is recommended that women consume a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Physical activity may protect you from breast cancer if you are pre-menopausal or are a younger postmenopausal woman. Exercise reduces estrogen levels, fights obesity, lowers insulin levels and boosts the immune system.
Support the Fight Against Breast Cancer Where You See the Pink Ribbon
Another important piece you can control is your support of organizations that are leading the fight against breast cancer, often with the help of retail partners. For seven years, Pier 1 Imports has sold the “Komen Candle” with 25 percent of the purchase price (less tax) benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to support innovative breast cancer research and community outreach programs. Last year, sales of the candle raised more than $176,000 for the Komen Foundation.
“A key to our success at the Komen Foundation is that we collaborate with a variety of companies and organizations to provide creative ways for people to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer,” said Cindy Schneible, vice president of cause-related marketing and sponsorship for the Komen Foundation. “ Pier 1’s ‘Komen Candle’ enables the Komen Foundation to reach more women with the life-saving message of early detection and to raise funds for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs.”
Starting late August, the signature Floral Blush-scented candle will be sold in Pier 1 stores nationwide. For more information about breast health or breast cancer, call the Komen Foundation’s National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline at (800) I’M AWARE (462-9273) or visit the Web site at www.komen.org.