ACS says join the breast cancer awareness movement

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Hey, Mohawk Valley — the American Cancer Society asks you to join the movement and get screened for cancer!

The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives — and that includes our choices about healthcare. The American Cancer Society knows regular cancer screening can detect some changes in the body before cancer develops or catch certain cancers early when they might be easier to treat. When COVID-19 struck, we saw a significant drop in cancer screenings – and it is now time to change that trend.

Nationwide, an estimated 281,550 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021, and 43,600 will not survive. Breast cancer also will touch 2,350 men this year alone. Far too many individuals for whom a mammogram is recommended remain unscreened. As we move through October, breast cancer awareness month, the American Cancer Society urges those at average risk to review our guidelines at cancer.org/get-screened and talk with their healthcare provider about screening.

• Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.

• Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

• Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years or can continue yearly screening.

• Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

Right here in the Mohawk Valley, we have seen tremendous support to help fund our mission throughout the pandemic and beyond. There are many ways you can get involved.

• Come to our Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Oct. 24 at Mohawk Valley Community College. Learn more and sign up at MakingStridesWalk.org/Utica

• Support one of our amazing Real Men Wear Pink! Men from across the Mohawk Valley have joined this fun campaign by pledging to wear pink for the entire month and raising funds to fight this disease. You can meet our candidates and support their efforts at RealmenwearpinkACS.org/UticaNY

As the nation’s leading nonprofit in the breast cancer fight, we are putting more than 100 years of cancer-fighting experience to work through investments in breast cancer research, ensuring greater access to quality care, influencing public policy, and providing patient support. We’ve witnessed a 41% decline in the female breast cancer death rate, and as the top private funder of breast cancer research, we have no intention of ever slowing down.

Thanks in part to the support from events here in the Mohawk Valley, the American Cancer Society is currently investing $76 million in breast cancer-specific research grants. To-date, we have funded more than $56 million in metastatic breast cancer research grants and continue to invest in overarching health equity grants to help understand cancer inequalities and create strategies to overcome them.

We invite you today to Join us! Join us in changing the alarming trend of lack of screening and pick up the phone today to call your provider to make that appointment you have been putting off. Join us at Mohawk Valley Community College on Oct. 24 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer to help celebrate all breast cancer survivors and thrivers and encourage those still facing a journey. Join us by asking a friend or loved one if they are up to date on screenings. 

We are all in this fight together, and together we will make an impact.

Robert Elinskas is a Senior Community Development Manager with the American Cancer Society and staff partner for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in Utica & Syracuse. He has been with the ACS for 26 years and resides in Utica.

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