pinkribbon-thumbThe American Cancer Society anticipates an estimated 192,000 or more new cases of breast cancer to be diagnosed in the United States this year–though, the good news is that more than 2.2 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year, thanks to early detection and improved treatment. During October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, women are reminded that they can reduce their risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, reducing alcohol consumption, and engaging in physical activity, for 45 to 60 minutes, at least five days a week. The American Cancer Society also recommends an annual mammogram for women age 40 and over, and a clinical breast exam every three years for those in their 20s and 30s, as the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is now 98% for those whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at time of diagnosis. Within the Big Bear Valley, the Soroptimists are making available free or low-cost mammogram screenings in a program named in memory of Sue McNutt in partnership with the Bear Valley Community Hospital. If unable to afford a mammogram, women are encouraged to participate in the Sue McNutt Soroptimist Mammogram Program this month; for more information, call Cheri Wood at the hospital at 866-6501 ext. 8214.