Send message to help fight breast cancer

Local women like Michelle Trighese or Chris Zifchak are fighters.

So are countless other women like them from the Mahoning Valley. They fight not only regular day-to-day struggles that face all of us, but also the very real possibility that breast cancer might get the best of them.

Trighese, 44, said recently that as a woman who always was the “helper,” her breast cancer diagnosis meant learning “how to accept help” — a significant redirection of her outlook both mentally and emotionally.

And that’s not to mention the physical and financial hardships that come with a cancer diagnosis.

Thank God for all the organizations, donors and volunteers out there that offer strong support systems for those fighting cancer.

Not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer in the United States is the most common cancer in women, regardless of race or ethnicity. It is also the most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women, and the second-most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian / Pacific Islander and American Indian / Alaska Native women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Statewide in Ohio, about 129 per 100,000 women are diagnosed annually with new cases of breast cancer.

In Trumbull County from 2012-2016, the most recent years with statistics available through the CDC, 853 new cases of female breast cancer were reported. Over those years, 164 women died in Trumbull County of female breast cancer.

In Mahoning County, 1,036 new cases of female breast cancer were reported 2012 to 2016, and 213 women died of female breast cancer during that time frame.

While nothing can guarantee against breast cancer, there are ways that women can work to reduce their risk factors. Experts recommend limiting alcohol intake, saying the more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer.

Other recommendations warn against smoking and urge controlling weight and being physically active.

Breastfeeding your children and limiting dose and duration of hormone therapy also have been known to reduce the risk of breast cancer later in life, as well as avoiding exposure to radiation and environmental pollution.

Of course, there is no sure-fire way to guard against breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, but regular mammograms and monthly self-checks are known keys for early detection and early treatment.

Yes, cancer survivors are known to be fighters. You can help them in that battle by sending those you love a reminder of the risks, prevention techniques and early detection methods.

Help fight cancer, especially this month — National Breast Cancer Awareness month.



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