October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and pink is in the air. Pink ribbons, pink gum, pink hats, pink bags and pink flags with the breast cancer symbol on them are just a few things around Tyler and nationwide this month.

Local firefighter Steve Countryman helped get the Tyler Fire Department involved in preventing the disease by painting a donated fire truck pink and sell- ing T-shirts to help support the cause.

“An estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women, and 1,970 men in the United States during 2010,” said Greg Cameron, director of Market Strategies for the American Cancer Society.

Getting a mammogram on a regular basis will help detect early stages of the disease.

“The five –year survival rate for breast cancer is 98 percent among individuals whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at the time of diagnosis,” said Cameron.

Being female and increasing age are the most important risk factors for breast cancer.

“An estimated 40,230 breast cancer cases

(39,840 women and 390 men) are expected to die,” said Cameron.

The Society has spent more on breast cancer research than on any other cancer, having invested $418.7 million in breast

cancer research grants since 1971.

Breast cancer ranks second among cancer deaths in women after lung cancer.

In cities across Texas, different events are being held to get the word out about breast cancer and to raise money for research.

Symptoms you can see or feel include swelling or a lump in the breast, swelling in the armpit, nipple discharge, and pain in the nipple, inverted or retract- ed nipple, scaly or pitted skin on the nipple, persistent tenderness of the breast, and unusual breast pain or discomfort.

“Other important factors that increase a wom- an’s risk for developing breast cancer include certain inherited genetic mutations (BRCA1 and BRCA 2), a personal or family history of high-dose radiation therapy to the chest,” said Cameron

Contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800- ACS-2345 or visit its website at www.cancer.org to get information about local offices or events in the area.

“The American Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event unites communities across the nation each year to help save lives from breast can- cer and provide hope facing the disease. Since 1993, nearly 6 million walkers have raised more than $400 million through Making Strides,” said Cameron. 

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