Curves Franchise Locations Wants To Help Save 17,257 Lives During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Monday, October 11, 2010

Curves waives joining fee for new members with proof of recent mammogram or cancer donation.

According to statistics from the American Cancer Society, approximately 207,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. That's over 17,000 cases in October alone. And sadly, more than 3,300 women will lose their lives to this disease in October as well. But these aren't just numbers. These are our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends.

In response, Curves has taken a leadership role in the fight against breast cancer.

As part of Curves' mission to strengthen women and in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, participating Curves clubs in the U.S. are waiving the joining fee for new members who show proof of a recent mammogram or make a $25 donation to the American Cancer Society. New members in Canada can have the joining fee waived with a $25 donation to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Since only about 5-10 percent of breast cancers are hereditary, it's all about prevention, says Curves founder Diane Heavin.

"Prevention and early detection saves lives," she said. "There's so much you can do to significantly reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. These include eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. And then there are annual doctor visits and monthly breast self exams." According to world-renowned breast cancer surgeon Dr. Ernie Bodai, more than 95 percent of women whose breast cancer is caught in its earliest stages will be healthy and disease-free five years after their diagnosis and treatment. And, women themselves, through breast self examination, find 80 percent of breast cancers not discovered by mammography.

To help make monthly breast self examination easier and less intimidating, participating Curves locations in the U.S. and Canada offer a nifty FDA-approved tool called the Liv� Aid. It's a heart-shaped, fluid-filled pad designed to enhance a woman's ability to notice changes in her breast tissue and feel lumps or irregularities. Interested people should stop by their local Curves during open hours for a "sugar" demonstration, which uses grains of sugar to simulate the often microscopic lumps in breast tissue that may be missed by mammography or unassisted breast self examination.

Clubs are also selling "in memory of" and"in honor of" ribbons which recognize friends and family members who have been affected by or who have lost their lives to the disease. All proceeds from ribbon sales go directly to the American Cancer Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, or the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Clubs will also host a special GirlTime Celebration to inform and educate attendees and honor survivors.

"Researchers know that physical activity in the form of exercise reduces breast cancer risk," says Heavin. "I encourage every woman to go into their local club and pick up our Breast Cancer Awareness Fact Sheets, see a demonstration of the Liv�Aid, sign up for the free GirlTime event, and learn about how exercising just three times a week at Curves can help reduce your risk of developing this frightening disease."

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