Five Ways to Fight Breast Cancer
Article date: September 20, 2013
Want to join the fight against breast cancer? Here are 5 ways to do a lot of good with a little – or a lot – of your time, your skills, and your voice.
1. Volunteer your time
The American Cancer Society offers many programs that focus on the physical, social, and emotional needs of people facing breast cancer.
- Reach To Recovery® – If you have survived breast cancer, you can train to become a Reach To Recovery® volunteer who provides education and emotional support to other women – and men – facing a breast cancer diagnosis.
- Look Good Feel Better® – This free, community-based service teaches patients beauty techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image during chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The program is a collaboration among the American Cancer Society, the Personal Care Products Council, and the Professional Beauty Association/National Cosmetology Association.
- Road To Recovery® – Volunteer drivers in this program help cancer patients get to and from treatments. Last year, the American Cancer Society matched thousands of patients with volunteer drivers who donated their time and use of their cars.
2. Take part in research
As a breast cancer patient, you can seek out a clinical trial or sign up to be part of an ongoing research project that could help those diagnosed with breast cancer in the future. People who have never had cancer can help, too. For example, the American Cancer Society has conducted multiple studies over the past several decades that examine cancer causes, prevention, and survivorship issues in large groups of people. The latest of these, known as Cancer Prevention Study-3, is enrolling now. By sharing information about their lifestyle and health status, participants in these studies give scientists the data they need to battle cancer at the world-wide level.
3. Make your voice heard
Many battles in the fight against breast cancer happen in your local legislature as well as in Washington, DC. The American Cancer Society’s advocacy organization, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), can help you become informed about cancer issues and exercise your rights as a citizen to support the causes you feel passionate about. For example, you can sign a petition to support the federal program that helps ensure all women have access to lifesaving mammograms. And you can send emails to members of Congress, asking them to increase funding for breast cancer research.
4. Participate in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event raises millions of dollars every year to fund breast cancer research and provide information, services, and access to mammograms for women who need them. You can help by walking in a Making Strides event and raising donations, sponsoring another Making Strides walker, or volunteering your time and talent at an event. Nationwide, nearly 300 walks occur each year to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness, and raise money.
5. Take charge of your health
Although there's no sure-fire way to prevent breast cancer, certain lifestyle habits are linked to a lower risk of it developing or returning.
- Be physically active. Evidence is growing that regular physical activity helps reduce your breast cancer risk. It also helps keep your weight under control, which may also lower your risk.
- Eat a healthy diet. Studies link a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products to a reduced breast cancer risk. A healthy diet also helps you stay at a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, limit how much you drink. Research has shown that women who have 2 or more alcoholic drinks daily have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who drink only 1 drink a day or not at all.
Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff
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