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Fear, lack of information and misinformation prevent many women from taking responsibility for their health and going for mammograms, Israel Cancer Association director-general Miri Ziv said Sunday, marking the launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
At 5:30 p.m. today, Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik will throw a switch, lighting Tel Aviv's three Azrieli Towers in pink to kick off the ICA's awareness campaign.
150 other landmarks around the world, including including Taipei's tower (the tallest building in the world,) the Empire State Building, the Brandenberg Gate, the Sydney Opera House and Niagara Falls, will also glow pink. Itzik will also receive a pink ribbon, a symbol of breast cancer awareness. It will be the eighth year in a row that the ICA is participating in the lighting event.
The ICA is also organizing an October symposium on breast cancer in young women, an event at which patients can celebrate their lives, and a seminar for healthy women who are at risk for breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common tumor in Israel, with 4,000 diagnosed and 900 dying of it each year. One in eight women will contract breast cancer at some time in their lives, but the cure rate is as high as 90 percent if diagnosed at an early stage. Getting to know one's body and noting any changes in breast tissue is recommended from age 20; a manual exam by a doctor who is an expert is recommended.
Women should undergo mammograms at their health fund clinics every other year after the age of 50, or between 40 and 49 if there is a family history of breast cancer or other high risk.
The ICA operates a mobile mammogram machine for women in the periphery, Arab women, haredi women, new immigrant women and poor women.
More information can be obtained at the ICA's Web site at www.cancer.org.il or by calling Yad Lehahlama for women who have breast cancer, at 1(800) 360 707.