Home Health News Ex-football star sponsors 500 mammograms to honor mom who died of breast cancer – msnNOW

Ex-football star sponsors 500 mammograms to honor mom who died of breast cancer – msnNOW

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Former NFL running back DeAngelo Williams is still dedicated to fighting breast cancer.

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DeAngelo Williams

Williams, who played for the Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers, started covering the cost of mammogram screening for women in 2015 through his nonprofit organization, The DeAngelo Williams Foundation.

Since then, the foundation has covered the cost of over 500 mammograms at hospitals in Pittsburgh, Memphis, Jonesboro, Ark., and Charlotte, N.C.

Williams is a staunch supporter of breast cancer awareness. In 2014, his mother Sandra Hill died from breast cancer when she was just 53. Williams also lost his four aunts to the disease, all before the age of 50.

Williams began sponsoring the free mammogram screening in honor of his mother through the “53 Strong for Sandra” program. At each event, the foundation sponsors mammograms for 53 women. The foundation eventually hopes to host a free mammogram screening event in every state.

“To be able to help all these women is amazing. This can be life-changing for these women,” Williams said in a statement to TODAY. “We are enabling them to get this care that no one should ever be denied or not have access to.”

“DeAngelo wants to ensure that no woman (or man) fights breast cancer alone,” Risalyn Williams, his wife and executive director of The DeAngelo Williams Foundation, told TODAY via email.

Williams was key in leading a push in 2009 to allow NFL players to wear pink cleats throughout October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. At the time football fans were treated to fields of pink — pink headphones, pink cleats and pink pom poms — during October breast cancer awareness month. In 2015, Williams asked the NFL to allow him to wear pink on his uniform all year, but the league declined.

In recent years, the NFL’s partnership with the American Cancer Society has broadened its focus to prevention and early detection of several cancers, including breast cancer, with the “Crucial Catch” program.

Gallery: 6 Cancers on the Rise in Older Adults, Including Breast Cancer (Insider)

   Although the overall cancer rate in the   United States has been in decline since the 1990s, certain types   of cancers are becoming increasingly common, especially in older   adults. Those linked to obesity, such as liver and pancreatic   cancer, are among the fastest-growing.            People are more at risk of cancer as they age because of a     decline in their immune systems, lifestyle factors like diet     and alcohol/tobacco use, and treatment of other chronic     illnesses.      Here are some of the types of cancer on the rise in older   adults, factors that may be contributing to the increase, and   what you can do to reduce your risk.                   Visit INSIDER's     homepage for more stories.       Age is still the   number one risk factor for developing cancer.    And as the older population in the US increases, the number of   new cancer cases are expected to rise by as much as 2.1 million   by 2030, even as overall cancer rates are declining in the US,   according to the    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).    More than 60% of all new cancer diagnoses are in people aged 60   and older, according to the CDC. Older men are more at risk of   some of the more prevalent types of cancer, such as liver cancer.   But older women continue to be at the highest risk of breast   cancer.     Here are some of the most common types of cancer that are on the   rise in older adults, and some of the risk factors contributing   to the increase.           Read more:        Experts warn we're not ready for the 'silver tsunami' of older   adults living with cancer

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