October 31, 2011 | by City of Hope Staff
The profusion of pink products, advertisements and inspiring survivor stories this time of year all serve to remind the public that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Yet, many are unaware that they can take steps today to beat breast cancer or avoid it altogether.
Detecting breast cancer early is the best way to beat the disease, and City of Hope surgeon Laura Kruper, M.D., wants women to get the tools to find tumors when they’re highly curable. She recently appeared on NBC’s Nonstop News LA to talk about breast cancer myths and tips.
Kruper, director of the Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women’s Health Center and head of City of Hope’s Breast Surgery Service, strongly urges women to get an annual mammogram starting at age 40 so that their breast tumors can be found before they spread. “Earlier detection means better chance of cure — an earlier stage and a better prognosis,” she says.
And for women who think they’re immune because they have no family history of the disease, she offers a bracing statistic: About 80 percent of breast cancers are spontaneous and happen in women with no known inherited genetic risk.
Can women do anything to increase their odds of avoiding breast cancer — or beating it after they are diagnosed with the disease? Yes, she says: “Exercise.”
This year, doctors will diagnose about 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer, including 2,140 new cases in men, according to the American Cancer Society.