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American Cancer Society prepares to make strides on October 3

Nearly 40,000 breast cancer survivors, their families, and volunteers from around the state will converge along the Charles River Esplanade in Boston hoping to raise approximately $3 million for the American Cancer Society's 18th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer five-mile walk on Sunday, October 3. Registration and rolling start are set for 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. Boston's Making Strides is the nation's oldest and largest one-day walk, raising more than $42 million for the fight against breast cancer since its inception in 1993. Participants will have the opportunity to help the American Cancer Society create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays by participating in this year's walk.


This year, Boston is one of 22 Making Strides walks being held this October in New England, and one of more than 160 Strides events that will be held throughout the nation. According to American Cancer Society statistics, every three minutes a woman in the United States learns she has breast cancer. In addition:

* Breast cancer accounts for nearly one out of three cancer diagnoses among women in the U.S.
* An estimated 207,090 U.S. women will develop breast cancer this year and 40,230 will die

* In Massachusetts, 5,320 women will develop breast cancer this year and sadly 780 will die
* Progress in both early detection and treatment of breast cancer has resulted in decreasing mortality rates since 1990. Breast cancer caught early before it has spread has a 98% five-year relative survival rate. 61% of breast cancers are found at this early stage.

"As the Official Sponsor of Birthdays, the American Cancer Society wants women to see the real tangible benefits of taking care of themselves," said Janet McGrail, state vice president for health initiatives at the Society. "Women can take charge of their breast health, fight breast cancer and save lives. More than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year thanks to early detection and improved treatment."

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer supports the American Cancer Society's unique mission to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or finding it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking research and by fighting back by encouraging lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.

Funds raised through Making Strides are critical in meeting the needs of breast cancer in the community through:

* Stay Well - We provide answers to questions day and night through 1.800.227.2345 and cancer.org. Breast cancer is the number one reason people call us.
* Get Well - Because breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families need emotional and physical support, the American Cancer Society offers Reach to Recovery®, a one-on-one program that pairs patients with trained survivors for support and advice. Our Look Good...Feel Better® workshops teach ways to help with appearance-related side effects from chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
* Finding Cures - The American Cancer Society has invested over $388 million in breast cancer grants since 1971; more than any other voluntary health organization. As a result, more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year. In Massachusetts, the Society