Since 1993, nearly 7 million walkers across the country have raised more than $400 million through Making Strides events to help fight breast cancer. Last year alone, dedicated supporters like you raised more than $60 million nationwide to help the American Cancer Society save lives and create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays - where this disease never steals another year from anyone's life.
So, how does the money you raise help fight breast cancer? Funds you raise through the Making Strides program help the American Cancer Society save lives in many ways.
With your support, we are saving lives by:
We know that finding breast cancer early, when it's easiest to treat, can mean the difference between life and death. So we provide screening guidelines, physician education, and engage in efforts to increase public awareness about the importance of yearly mammograms. The good news is that breast cancer incidence and death rates are declining; more people are beating this disease thanks to early detection through mammograms and improved treatment methods. But there is still much more to be done. At cancer.org/MammogramReminder, you and the women you care about can sign up to receive a free email mammogram reminder to schedule your yearly mammogram in the month of your choice. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women 40 and older get a mammogram every year, in addition to a breast exam by their doctor or nurse, as part of their regular health checkups. We know that knowledge is power, and we won't stop until every woman understands how she can help take control of her breast health.
Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer at this time (which is why yearly mammograms are so important), there are steps you can take to reduce your breast cancer risk:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Engage in moderate to vigorous regular physical activity (at least 45-60 minutes on 5 or more days of the week)
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, if you drink at all, to no more than 1 drink per day for women (and no more than 2 drinks per day for men)
To learn more about breast cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk and stay well, please visit cancer.org/breastcancer, or call us toll-free at 1-800-227-2345 anytime, day or night.
Having cancer is hard. Finding help shouldn't be. That's why the American Cancer Society is in everyone's corner around the clock to guide them through every step of a breast cancer experience. The Society offers free programs and services in nearly every community across the country to ensure that cancer patients and their loved ones do not have to face cancer alone. Below are some of the support services we provide, thanks to fundraising efforts like yours.
- Transportation assistance to and from treatment
- Free lodging for those having to travel far for treatment
- Free wigs and assistance with treatment-related physical side effects
- Emotional support programs like Reach To Recovery´┐? that connect newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with survivors
- Cancer education classes such as I Can Cope´┐?
- An online support network called Cancer Survivors NetworkSM
We are committed to connecting people facing cancer with the information, day-to-day help, and emotional support they need in the communities where they live to help them get well. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 anytime, day or night, or visit us at cancer.org to find out what resources are available in your community.
The American Cancer Society currently invests more in breast cancer research to better understand, prevent, and cure the disease than in any other cancer site. We take pride in funding promising researchers early in their careers, and our track record is something we share with pride. Of the researchers chosen for Society funding throughout the years, 44 have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. Thanks to fundraising supporters like you, the American Cancer Society has played a role in nearly every major cancer research breakthrough in recent history, including:
- Funding research into breast-conserving surgery, using lumpectomy plus radiation for treatment
- Establishing mammography as the gold standard to find breast cancer early
- Discovering lifesaving treatments (such as Herceptin) to improve breast cancer survival and drugs (such as Tamoxifen) to reduce the risk of second or first breast cancer
- Discovering genes for inherited breast and colon cancer
- Confirming the knowledge that genetics, diet, lack of exercise, and alcohol abuse can increase a person's cancer risk
- Discovering cancer-causing oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes
Currently, breast cancer research projects are under way at institutions across the country, thanks in large part to the funds raised by Making Strides Against Breast Cancer participants. With your continued help, we can blaze a trail toward the next great discovery and make strides to end breast cancer.
Right now, cancer can't be defeated in doctors' offices alone. We work with legislators to pass laws to defeat breast cancer and rally communities to join the fight. We need elected officials to fully fund programs that allow all eligible women to get the cancer screenings they need and treatment they deserve. The American Cancer Society, in collaboration with its nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), works hard to keep breast cancer funding a top priority for our nation's lawmakers. Thanks in large part to the amazing support of Making Strides participants, ACS CAN's efforts are affecting legislation to help fund research and prevention, treatment, and care for people battling cancer.
- We have successfully lobbied Congress for millions of dollars for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women get access to critical screenings and follow-up treatment. We are currently working to increase funding for the program so it can serve more eligible women
- We actively support legislation that would increase access to treatment for breast cancer patients and the quality of life for breast cancer survivors
- We are addressing disparities by promoting important public policies that provide access to quality health care and screening for all women
- We have urged Congress to fund critical research that has the potential to make progress in the prevention, treatment, and care of those diagnosed and living with cancer
How far will you go to end breast cancer forever? Walk with us - and help create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. For more information about how you can use your voice to help fight breast cancer, call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit ACS CAN at acscan.org/makingstrides.