(ARA) – Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women ages 40 to 59. This year alone, more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease. Another 40,000 will die from it. Even though early detection is critical to survival and every woman is at risk for developing the disease, new research shows the vast majority of women do not discuss this issue with each other.
According to a recent survey commissioned by WHEATABLES Crackers and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, there is a startling lack of dialogue among women about breast cancer risk and the importance of early detection. Sixty-five percent of women report they never or infrequently discuss breast cancer risk even though almost half report having a close personal experience (self, family or close friend diagnosed) with the disease. Seventy-three percent of mothers surveyed reported they never or hardly ever discuss breast cancer, breast self-exams or mammograms with their daughters or granddaughters and 67 percent of the women surveyed said the same about their mothers or stepmothers.
“These findings are astounding particularly because one in eight women are expected to develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Communication and conversation are critical to understanding the importance of early detection and adopting positive breast health practices,” said Susan Braun, president and CEO of the Komen Foundation.
In response, WHEATABLES Crackers and the Komen Foundation have launched a public education initiative to encourage women to talk about breast cancer. Called “Talk About Breast Cancer – It’s a Conversation Worth Having,” the initiative is designed to help women — and those who love them — get the conversation going.
Special WHEATABLES Crackers packaging carries pink Ribbons for Life and conversation starter tips, including:
- Make a monthly calendar note to call your mother, aunt, sister or daughter with a reminder to conduct a breast self-exam. * Enclose a note and a pink ribbon in birthday cards to female friends 40 years of age or older, reminding them to have a mammogram.
- Ask your doctor about breast health activities at every appointment. Don’t wait for the doctor to ask you.
- Send a care package with how-to tips to young women at college or away from home; once a woman turns 20, she should begin conducting monthly breast self-exams and have a doctor or nurse examine her breasts every three years.
- Develop a “buddy” system with friends. Ask them to remind you regularly about breast health activities and do the same for them.
- Share a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa and breast cancer facts with a friend: Breast cancer is the number one killer of women between the ages of 40 and 59; the majority of women who develop breast cancer had no family history of the disease; if breast cancer is detected early, a woman’s chances of survival improve significantly.
“Regular discussions that encourage breast health activities like monthly breast self-exams, annual clinical breast exams, and mammograms can make a very real difference,” said Jenny Enochson, spokesperson for WHEATABLES Crackers. “That’s why we’re so committed to getting the conversation going.”
WHEATABLES Crackers will donate $5.00 to the Komen Foundation for every five ribbons clipped from its special packaging and sent in by customers. For more information about the campaign, log onto www.ribbonsforlife.com.