Raising awareness about breast cancer

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and although we hear it often, it’s true – almost everyone has been touched by cancer in some way or another whether it be a family member, friend, co-worker or even yourself who has battled the disease.

According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation web site, an estimated one in nine Canadian women are expected to develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. In 2015, it is estimated that 25,000 Canadian women and 220 Canadian men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s also estimated that 5,000 women and 60 men will die of the disease.

Breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer diagnosis in women in Canada over the age of 20 and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canadian women, after lung cancer. But thanks to the work of dedicated breast cancer scientists and clinicians we are seeing more targeted and less invasive treatments, fewer side effects and better outcomes.

The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer also increases with age. In 2015, it is estimated that 82% of new breast cancer cases will would occur in Canadian women over the age of 50 – 52% of breast cancers will be diagnosed in women 50 to 69 years of age and 30 % of breast cancers will be diagnosed in women over the age of 69.

About one in five breast cancers (18%) will be diagnosed in women less than 50 years of age. For women 30 to 49 years of age, the risk of being diagnosed with any type of cancer is 0.2% (or one in 500). While this risk is very low, about 36% of cancers diagnosed in this age group will be breast cancer.

Fewer women in Canada are dying from breast cancer today than in the past. Breast cancer deaths have decreased by 43% since they peaked in 1986 due to earlier detection through regular mammography screening, advances in screening technology, and improved treatments.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation encourages women and men to practice breast awareness – to know how your breasts normally look and feel, and what changes to check for and discuss with a health care provider. Even though many breast changes are normal, some changes are not.

Unusual changes can be caused by a benign (noncancerous) condition, or they may be a sign of cancer. Most breast changes will not be breast cancer, but should be checked by a health care provider.

Meanwhile, this weekend, thousands of supporters will gather for the annual Run for the Cure. Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure is the largest single-day event of its kind in Canada. Thousands of Canadians come together in communities across the country to raise funds, awareness and contribute to creating a future without breast cancer.

Set for Oct. 4th, the CIBC Run for the Cure will be held at Bower Ponds. Registration is at 8 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. Warm up is at 9:50 a.m. with start of run at 10 a.m. and the start of the walk at 10:15 a.m. There will be an awards celebration at 11 a.m.

The event is a 5 km or 1 km walk or run.

Last year, the CIBC Run for the Cure raised more than $25 million. In Red Deer alone, the local event raised $206,000 with about 900 participants.

Now, that is something Red Deerians can be proud of.

Organization representatives say that support of the event helps fund groundbreaking research, education and advocacy initiatives across Canada.

We encourage Red Deerians to show their support for the event as registrations will be taken up until the event begins.

For complete details, visit www.cibcrunforthecure.supportcbcf.com.