Reducing risks, early detection key in cancer fight

The statistics from the National Breast Cancer Foundation are startling.

One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

An estimated 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in this country this year.

An estimated 2,800 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S.

Breast cancer accounts for about 30 percent of all cancer diagnoses for women and is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in this country.

Unfortunately, some risk factors for breast cancer can’t be controlled: age (most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50), breast density, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, inherited gene mutations and personal history of breast cancer.

But the good news is that early detection and behavior modifications can make a difference. A 2017 American Cancer Society study showed 42 percent of cancer diagnoses and 45 percent of deaths in the U.S. are linked to controllable risk factors. Other studies have shown that as many as 50 to 70 percent of breast cancers can be prevented, depending on when people adopt these risk-reducing behaviors and lifestyle changes.

• limit or abstain from alcohol

Even one drink a day for women is linked with a higher risk of breast cancer, particularly HR-positive breast cancer. Women who drink two to three drinks a day have a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer than women who don’t drink.

• eat less meat and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains

• lose excess weight and stay physically active

• quit smoking

• avoid menopausal hormone therapy with estrogen and progesterone in combination

A woman taking such hormone therapy for five to 14 years has double the breast cancer risk of a women who didn’t take hormone therapy.

Residents are fortunate to have two wonderful resources right here in Hinsdale.

The UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Cancer Center on Ogden Avenue offers patients access to academic-powered expertise, clinical trials and the latest technology.

The fully accredited, state-of-the-art cancer center offers comprehensive, personalized cancer treatment support with outpatient diagnostic imaging and lab services. The center offers digital mammography with 3D capabilities for dense breasts and stereotactic image-guided breast biopsy among other services.

Wellness House offers a variety of support groups, some of which are specific to breast cancer, along with general education classes and others in nutrition, exercise and stress management to those who are facing a cancer diagnosis and their families.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Wellness House is partnering with Oakbrook Center to put on an afternoon of relaxing music, yoga, information and giveaways from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at the mall. Resources and information for all stages of breast cancer will be available for survivors, patients and caregivers. Yoga sessions are scheduled for 2:15 and 3:15 p.m.

In December, the Top Doc lecture series will feature Daniel Bruetman, medical oncologist at City of Hope, speaking on hormone therapy in the treatment of breast cancer from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7.

For more information or to register for these programs, visit