Israel Cancer Association.
(photo credit: Israel Cancer Association)
Overweight women have a 250-percent higher risk of breast cancer than women of
normal weight, according to the Israel Cancer Association, which will mark
International Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
The ICA noted on
Sunday that 4,000 Israeli women (and about 50 men) are diagnosed with the
disease, with 900 dying from it each year. Only about 15% of the cases are
caused by the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 defective gene that significantly increases the
risk of the tumor, especially among younger women.
Throughout the month,
the ICA will hold a number of events, some of them in cooperation with other
organizations, to increase public awareness of breast cancer and the need for
According to the Israel Cancer Registry, one in eight woman
will contract breast cancer during her lifetime. But the earlier it is
diagnosed, the easier it is to survive and recover. Thanks to excellent care in
Israel, the survival rate here is among the highest in the world, and the
mortality rate is showing signs of decline, the ICA said.
every two years for women over 50 is recommended and part of the basket of
health services. Women at high risk (with breast cancer in the family) should
begin screening at 40 or even earlier and undergo MRI screening as
On October 11, the ICA will hold a seminar at Kfar Maccabiah in
Ramat Gan for 1,000 women from around the country who have been diagnosed with
the disease. The free event to “Celebrate Life” is supported by Roche
Participants should register through the ICA at
1-800-599- 995. The month will be accompanied by a publicity campaign on TV and
in the media in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian.
In addition to overweight, a
Western diet of junk food increases the risk of breast cancer. Studies conducted
on women living in Japan, comparing their risk level with Japanese women living
in the West who follow a diet of processed food, are the basis for this
statement. Regular physical exercise, such as walking three to six times a week
for 20 to 45 minutes each time, also minimizes the risk.
also avoid smoking, limit their drinking of alcohol and avoid exposure to the
sun without protection to reduce the risk of cancer in general.
University researchers recently found that a diet rich in folic acid and vitamin
B6 (found in dark green vegetables, citrus fruits and juices, vitamin-enriched
grains and supplements) can significantly reduce the risk of breast
Men who contract breast cancer are usually diagnosed over the age
Men who have first-degree relatives (women or men) who had breast
cancer have a higher risk; so are men whose blood relatives were diagnosed with
it under age 40, or who had a number of first-degree relatives with ovarian or
More information can be obtained from the ICA website at
www.cancer.org.il or the organization’s information center at (03) 572-1608.