• PETER PARKS/GETTY

    WALK THE WALK

    Walking Lowers Breast-Cancer Risk

    By 14 percent, in post-menopausal women.

    Get out those sneakers and jogging suits (actually, on second thought, hold the jogging suits). A study by the American Cancer Society found that simply walking one hour a day reduces women’s risk of breast cancer by 14 percent. The first-of-its-kind study surveyed about 73,000 post-menopausal women. The reduction was found among women who reported walking as their only activity. “The study also found that women who took part in more vigorous activities for an hour a day had a 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer than the least active,” according to The Guardian. So get up and get moving, ladies.

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  • Miroslav Georgijevic/Getty

    ABREAST OF THE CURVE

    FDA Panel Supports ‘Historic’ Cancer Drug

    Pre-surgery breast cancer drug poised for approval.

    An FDA federal advisory committee has moved toward approving the first pre-surgery breast cancer drug. The drug, Perjeta, has already been used during late-stage breast cancer; now, it may reduce tumors during the disease’s earlier stages.  If so, tumors—even inoperable ones—would be more amenable to surgery and some treated patients may undergo breast-conserving instead of breast-removal surgery.  “This is a historic moment,” says Dr. Mikkael A. Sekeres, a Cleveland Clinic associate professor and the advisory committee’s chairman. He “hope[s] that women with earlier stages of breast cancer will live longer and better.” However, of the annual 220,000 or so new cases of early-stage breast cancer, only 15,000 American women would be eligible for preoperative Perjeta treatment.

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  • ED JONES/AFP/Getty

    GULP

    Alcohol Linked to Breast Cancer

    Daily drinking leads to increased risk, study says.

    Sorry to kill your buzz from any early Labor Day parties. Young women who drink daily increase their lifetime risk of developing breast cancer by 13 percent, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In the study, researchers surveyed more than 90,000 mothers from 1989 to 2009. Teens and college students who drink every day aren’t thinking about future risks, says study author Graham Colditz, associate director for cancer prevention at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The study also found that the lengthening of time between a girl’s first period and pregnancy is a factor as well, which may have to be monitored as more women delay childbirth.

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  • Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty

    EXTINGUISHING CANCER

    Fighting Fire With Fire

    How taking on the chemical lobby may reduce the risk of breast cancer in female firefighters.

    She lived through the flames, but one San Francisco Bay Area firefighter is waging another kind of battle.

    When Janette Neves Rivera was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she was shocked when her doctor told her that it is most likely linked to her job. She was exposed to burning toxic flame-retardant chemicals, which are found in household furniture like couches.

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  • A self portrait of Jasmine taken in May, when her hair grew back.

    Best Laid Plans

    When Breast Cancer Hits Young

    Jasmine Johnson had a plan to prevent breast cancer. Then the disease hit. Allison Samuels reports.

    Jasmine Johnson has always been clear about what, health-wise, the future would likely hold.

    Her family history of breast cancer, she realized even as a small child, ran deeper than most. Her grandmother died of the disease before she was born; then, when Johnson was 5, she watched her 36-year-old mother die at home from the same illness. Some years later her paternal grandmother would also battle the disease and survive.

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  • Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway. (Joe Kohen/FilmMagic, via Getty)

    Hard Decisions

    Why I Chose a Mastectomy

    The actress Vanessa Bell Calloway talks about breast cancer, and the hard choices she had to make.

    Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway couldn’t helped but be moved by the recent editorial by fellow actress Angelina Jolie discussing her decision to have an preventative double mastectomy. In 2009, the veteran of stage, television, and film went in for a mammogram and was told the results looked “suspicious.” The co-star of the Showtime series  “Shameless"—who appeared in the original Broadway production of “Dreamgirls” and became a familiar face to fans in the hit films “Coming to America,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and “The Crimson Tide”—shares with Allison Samuels of The Daily Beast her head-butting battle with breast cancer, the lessons she learned about relinquishing control, and her plans for a healthier future for her two daughters.

    I can still remember sitting straight up in my bed one morning thinking something’s wrong. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know where it was, I just knew something wasn’t right and I couldn’t explain it. I told my husband, an anesthesiologist, about the feeling I had. First he asked if I was in pain and I said no and then he said not to worry, but of course I did anyway. I had that nagging feeling that all women get at one time or another when that little voice in our heads just won’t be silent.

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  • Dr. Teresa Cuadra, left, and Dr. Joan Waitkevicz examine a mammogram at the Beth Israel Medical Center, in New York, March 5, 1998. (Stuart Ramson/AP)

    BOOB JOB

    Why I Don't Miss My Breasts

    After years of fearing the worst, culminating in a diagnosis of breast cancer, Michelle Cottle says, ‘Good riddance, girls.’

    Last month, an exceedingly talented surgeon at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., fulfilled a wish I had been harboring quietly for several years: she removed both my breasts.

    Admittedly, I had been hoping to do away with “the girls” well before I wound up with breast cancer. Alas, a bad mammogram in late February revealed that I had irretrievably blown that deadline. Ultimate diagnosis: DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), left breast.

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