Early Detection
Breast Cancer

Make Good Choices for your Breast Health


The Importance of Breast Health


Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, and it is estimated that each year 1.38 million women are diagnosed with the disease and over 458,000 die from it.


In Israel, some 4,000 women are diagnosed each year with breast cancer, and about 900 women die of the disease.


Why is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so Important? 


The European Breast Cancer Coalition "Europa Donna", and the Israel Cancer Association (ICA) as its representative in Israel, hold Breast Health Month each October to get the breast health message across to young women and young girls across Europe and Israel and disseminate information regarding:

  • Awareness of the importance of pursuing a health strategy and managing lifestyle choices which may potentially reduce the known breast cancer risk factors and help prevent the disease.


  • Awareness of early detection as an important factor influencing the risk of breast cancer and chances of recovery from the disease.

  • This annual public information campaign is conducted to increase breast health awareness and to inform women that engaging in physical activity, implementing weight management practices, and maintaining a healthy balanced diet may help protect breast health.

It is important to build time in your schedule for planned, structured physical activity and to keep your weight in check; make these strategies part of your daily routine for your breast health:

  • Physical Activity:

Scientific evidence supports that there is a protective association between physical activity and a lower risk for breast cancer; physical inactivity is estimated to cause 10-16% of all breast cancer cases.

  • Recommendation for your breast health:

Engage in moderate exercise for at least 30-60 minutes every day.

  • Avoiding Obesity and Weight Gain:

Excess body weight and physical inactivity account for approximately 25-33% of breast cancer cases.  Being overweight (with a Body Mass Index - BMI - of 25 or higher), or obese (with a BMI of 30 or higher), may increase risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer.

  • Recommendation for your breast health:

It is important to maintain a healthy weight and a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9.

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculation:

BMI = body weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared.

  • Healthy Nutrition

While the link between specific foods and breast cancer risk has not been unequivocally proven in scientific studies, a healthy and balanced diet may still be a protective factor against breast cancer.

  • Recommendations for your breast health:

  • Eat a well-balanced, low-fat diet that includes a variety of high-fiber foods.
  • Include fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily food choices
  • Eat the right amount to maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit consumption of red meat and processed meats
  • Reduce carbohydrate intake
  • Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Restrict alcohol intake to one drink per day
  • Avoid smoking

  • Breast Cancer Mammography Screening:

Mammography is widely accepted as the best method to detect breast cancer at an early stage.


Israel leads a National Mammography Screening Program for women between the ages of 50-74. Israel leads Europe in mammography screening compliance rates, which consequently led to a 25% drop in breast-cancer mortality.


  • Recommendations for your breast health:

  • Make an informed choice regarding mammography screening exams. You are welcome to contact ICA's Telemeida tele-information service any time at: 1-800-599-995, if you require further information about prevention and early detection.

  • Ask your family practitioner about the ICA-initiated National Mammography Screening Program implemented in Israel for the early detection of breast cancer.


  • If you are between the ages of 50 and 74, you should undergo a mammography screening once every two years.


  • It is highly imperative that you become acquainted with your breasts and the changes that take place in them; consult with your physician or a specialist in breast surgery to clarify the nature of such changes.

  • Women who have a family history of breast cancer (a first-degree relative who has had breast cancer, such as a mother or sister), should be tested regularly by a specialist in breast surgery. Additionally, starting from the age of 40, you are entitled to a mammography screening once a year.

  • If you have been diagnosed as a gene mutation carrier (P53, PTEN, BRCA 1/2), or you are at high risk of carriership (20% or more) for a different mutation, according to Ministry of Health guidelines, you are entitled to a breast MRI scan.


  • EUROPA DONNA (ED) - The European Breast Cancer Coalition

Europa Donna (ED) is an independent non-profit organization whose members are affiliated groups from countries throughout Europe. The Coalition endeavors to raise breast cancer awareness and to exert public pressure on authorities for improved breast cancer education; additionally, it aims to promote appropriate screening programs and optimal treatment as well as increased funding for research. ED represents the interests of European women regarding breast cancer towards local and national authorities as well as towards EU institutions.  The ICA represents ED in Israel.

For more information please feel free to contact us:

  • Telemeida: 1-800-599-995

  • Reach to Recovery ("Yad Lehachlama") - for women coping with breast cancer: +972-3-572.16.15

This webpage is based on the Work Plan of Europa Donna for 2011, financed by the European Coalition as part of its Health Program. The Agency is not responsible for any information that appears in the brochure.