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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Monthly Breast Self Exams Save Lives

Olivia Newton-John

Singer-songwriter, actress, and breast cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John shows off the Liv, her new breast self-exam aid

Each year, in the United States alone, more than 211,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Although breast cancer can strike men as well as women, being a woman is the biggest risk factor for contracting the disease. A woman in the U.S. has a one in seven chance of developing breast cancer during her lifetime, and that number is expected to increase over the next few years.

Fortunately, breast cancer is treatable. In fact, if caught in its earliest stages, the survival rate is over 95%. That’s why it’s so important for women to establish a regular breast health routine, including performing a monthly breast self-exam. It takes just a few minutes each month, but sadly, fewer than 10% of American women perform monthly breast self exams.

That statistic has inspired singer-songwriter, actress, and breast cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John to take a stand. Newton-John credits monthly breast self-exams with saving her life, and she wants to see get more women become proactive about early detection. To achieve this, she has partnered with prominent surgeon and women’s health advocate, Dr. Ernie Bodai, to endorse the Liv, a simple, but effective medical device that helps women to perform self-checks.

The Liv is a soft, heart-shaped pad that uses exclusive Dureflex technology from Bayer Science and is filled with a non-toxic lubricant. When used during a monthly self-exam, the Liv increases the sensitivity in the fingers, allowing lumps and other irregularities to be more easily detected.

Newton-John and Dr. Bodai say that, while there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, women can reduce their risk by maintaining a healthy weight, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly. Additionally, by following all the steps for early detection — performing monthly self-exams, annual clinical exam and annual mammogram after age 40 — women can give themselves the best chance to catch problems early and keep living a healthy life.

October is breast cancer awareness month, a time set aside to help increase awareness of this disease, and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, and cure. Throughout the month, you can find many activities, both locally and nationally, that call attention to breast cancer cancer. These events can help us to understand how pervasive this disease is among women and to spur us to take action.

Please take some time this month to get involved in this worthy cause, whether by participating in an event, donating to charity, or just taking a moment to celebrate life and think of those around us who have battled this disease. For more information about events happening in your area, check your local news or go to www.liv.com, or purchese a Liv right from the Farmers’ Almanac store.

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