'Making Strides' in breast cancer awareness

By Kelly McCarthy

October 18, 2013 Updated Oct 18, 2013 at 5:23 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The American Cancer Society's biggest fundraiser kicks off tomorrow at Recreation Park in Binghamton.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is bringing out the pink to let everyone know the fight for a cure is not over.

The walk is held to celebrate survivors and also remember those who lost the battle to breast cancer.

So far, the Binghamton event has raised almost $100,000 in donations this year.

"Every dollar makes a difference, every penny makes a difference," said Catherine Klein, American Cancer Society Board of Advisors, "And even seeing people makes a difference because it's awareness. When people see people out there in pink, and they say, what are all those people out there? So if they just want to come and walk, please come and walk."

When thousands of people take to the streets on Saturday, they'll be wearing pink with pride.

"It is incredible the number of people that come and it grows and it grows," Klein said, "We had the one year with the flood so we saw a decline, and then it grew right back again."

The event is meant to celebrate the survivors and remember those who lost the battle to breast cancer.

"Probably about 75 percent of women that are diagnosed with breast cancer don't really have any major risk factors," said Dr. Janet Muhich at Lourdes Breast Care Center, "So I think we commonly hear patients say well I don't have any family history, I don't have to worry about it but that's not true."

Dr. Muhich said living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding weight gain goes a long way in preventing breast cancer.

"If you have a family member," Dr. Muhich said, "For instance my mother was 45 at the time of breast cancer diagnosis, I should start screening at 35, so 10 years younger. Otherwise around 40 years old.

One thing doctors do not want to do is scare women with risks and information.

"Breast cancer is really very treatable and a lot of women have breast cancer and are survivors," Dr. Muhich said, "Probably at least 2 million breast cancer survivors out there. Really very treatable when caught early."

The walk kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday at Recreation Park. It is a non-competitive, three mile walk.

The only available parking at Rec Park will be handicapped parking, others can use Horace Mann school.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.