Specialty Centers  > Breast Center  > Education and Prevention 

Education and Prevention

Because early detection is a woman's best defense against breast cancer, the Palmetto Health Breast Center devotes many resources to educating women about the disease. Through educational initiatives and community events such as our annual Walk for Life/Race for Life, we're spreading the word about the importance of breast self-exams, mammograms and research.

About Breast Cancer 

The most common malignancy in women is breast cancer. Nationally, about 231,840 women and 2,350 men will develop breast cancer this year. Breast cancer ranks second among cancer deaths in women. In South Carolina, an estimated 3,820 cases of female breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. When breast cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is greater than 99 percent.

Risk Factors 

  • Simply being female is the greatest risk factor
  • Women older than 40
  • Women older than 35 whose mother or sister has had breast or ovarian cancer or father had prostate cancer
  • Women who have never been pregnant or who first become pregnant after age 30
  • Women who have had cancer in one breast or atypical ductal hyperplasia (pre-cancer)
  • Women who started menstruation before age 12 or menopause at age 55 or older
  • Women who are obese with excessive caloric and fat intake

Anything that increases your chance of getting cancer is a risk factor. Anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is cancer prevention. If you want to self-assess your risk factors, take the free, online Breast Cancer Risk Assessment. To learn more about your genetic risk, call the University of South Carolina Department of Genetic Counseling at (1-800 or 803) 545-5700, extension 5.

Walk for Life/Race for Life is one of Palmetto Health Foundation's signature community events combining breast cancer awareness and fund-raising. The first Walk was held in 1991 and was organized in memory of those who lost their battle with breast cancer and to honor the women and men who have survived the disease. The goal is to remind people that the first step in the fight against breast cancer is that early detection is the best protection! Net proceeds from the walk are used to fund breast cancer education, early detection efforts, patient support and research at the Palmetto Health Breast Center. The next Walk for Life/Race for Life will be held in October 17, 2015, at Finlay Park in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more information about participating, volunteering or being a sponsor for the Walk for Life/Race for Life, visit the PalmettoHealthFoundation.org web page or call the Foundation office at (803) 434-7275. 

Palmetto Health Foundation Walk for Life/Race for Life More than 11,000 walkers and runners helped raise more than $800,000, including in-kind donations, for Palmetto Health Breast Center at the October 18, 2014 Walk for Life/Race for Life!  Thank you to all of the participants, donors, sponsors, volunteers and other supporters for making the 2014 Walk for Life/Race for Life a huge success!