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Five ways to fight breast cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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October marks the 25th anniversary of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to celebrate survivors, honor those who have died from the disease and remember the continued need for research into prevention and treatment.

Not all of us are oncologists, policy makers or researchers — so what can we do to help? Check out these simple ideas to see how local residents can make a small difference in fighting breast cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States.

1. Wear a Power of Pink bracelet

Brighton Collectibles in Westfiled Galleria at Roseville is selling Power of Pink bracelets to raise money for breast health.

Brighton will donate $10 for each bracelet sold to Sutter Roseville Medical Center’s Breast Health Center, which is dedicated to early detection of the disease and provides a specialized program for women to meet a variety of breast health needs. Services include educational and support resources, screening programs, diagnosis, intervention, treatment and management of different diseases of the breast. In 2010, Brighton Collectibles donated more than $3,500.

“We are committed to doing our part to help with breast cancer prevention and finding a cure,” said Brighton Assisant Manager Bethanie McKinney.

Brighton Collectibles is located at 1151 Galleria Blvd., Suite 110. For more information, visit www.brighton.com.

2. Dress like a firefighter

Roseville Fireman Ken Bohatch designed a T-shirt to enhance breast cancer awareness and raise money for Placer Breast Cancer Endowment.

Some city employees will wear the shirt during October. Members of the public can purchase and wear the shirt, too. It comes in two designs. The cost is $15 for one shirt or two for $25. To purchase a shirt, visit www.wethinkpink.org.

3. Go for a run

The fourth-annual HOT Pink 5K and 1K run/walk to benefit the Placer Breast Cancer Endowment takes place Saturday, Oct. 8.

Formed in 2005, the endowment includes breast cancer survivors and community activists committed to fully funding the Breast Cancer Endowed Chair at the UC Davis Cancer Center. Members have pledged to raise $1.5 million, and have successfully raised $750,000 so far.

The chair will allow the university to recruit established researchers, build laboratory space and continue clinical trials programs offering patients the latest treatments with the ultimate goal, as set by National Cancer Institute Director John Niederhuber, to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015.

“Organizers have moved the event to The Fountains at Roseville due to the overwhelming number of registered runners last year,” said publicist Mary Towne. “We are expecting 1,200 to 1,500 runners for this year’s event.”

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the run starts at 9 a.m. Cost is $28 through Tuesday, Oct. 4, or $35 after. Youth 17 and under are $18 and kids 5 and under are free. To register, visit www.wethinkpink.org.

4. Take a swing

Mercy Foundation will host its sixth-annual Gals on the Green, Sacramento’s only all-women charity golf tournament, on Monday, Oct. 17 at Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln.

Proceeds benefit breast cancer treatment, technological advances, education and prevention services for women throughout greater Sacramento. Funds from prior events provided free mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies to more than 300 under- and uninsured women patients at Mercy Clinics.

The tournament features a helicopter golf ball drop, silent auction, dinner and more. Registration begins at 10 a.m. One golfer costs $250 and a foursome is $1,000. To register, visit www.supportmercyfoundation.org.

5. Get a mammogram

Kaiser Permanente recommends a baseline mammogram at age 35 and then a mammogram annually every year after age 40.

Self-exams should start when a woman’s menstrual cycle begins and should be done every month a few days after her period. Clinical breast exams should be done annually or sooner if any breast problems or changes occur.

Reduce the risk for cancer by eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting alcohol intake.

If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, ask your doctor about genetic testing. A blood test can check for changes in the BRCA genes that may increase your chance of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.