Our View: Fundraisers keep breast cancer research a top priority

October 10, 2018

Breast cancer gets a lot of attention this time of year, and for good reason. It’s the second-leading cause of cancer-related death for women, just behind lung cancer. The American Cancer Society says there were more than 250,000 cases diagnosed in 2017. More than 40,000 people lost their battle with the disease that same year.

Those statistics make it clear why it’s still so important to focus on a disease that takes healthy moms, wives and daughters away from their families by the thousands each year.

Every battle against cancer is a struggle, but thanks to targeted efforts -- many of them during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- there are encouraging signs in fields of academic research to better detect and treat breast cancer. Researchers are using the millions of dollars that Americans donate each year to develop new imaging and lab tests, and find better ways to reduce breast cancer risk in the first place. Keeping researchers well funded is the best way to keep finding a cure as a top priority.

Locally, efforts like the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk held last week support low-cost mammograms for women in the Lake Havasu City community. Like they do each year, hundreds of people showed up to participate in Saturday’s awareness walk, a fundraiser that helps cover the costs of providing pricey mammograms and other cancer treatments. Thanks to their generosity, Havasu women have no excuse not to get checked.

To sign up for the screenings, visit the Havasu Community Health Foundation at 94 S. Acoma, a stone’s throw from City Hall. The office is on the ground floor. Or call 928-453-8190.

Meanwhile, here are some tips from the American Cancer Society about when women should get mammograms:

• Starting at age 45: Women should undergo regular mammography. But they should have the opportunity to begin annual screening between age 40 and 44.

• Age 45 to 54: Women should be screened annually.

• Age 55 and older: Transition to screening every other year, or have the opportunity to continue screening annually.

• Women should continue screening mammography as long as their overall health is good and they have a life expectancy of 10 years or longer.

— Today’s News-Herald

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