Get Involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is much better understood than it was a few years ago. Although it is often considered a “woman’s disease,” men develop breast cancer as well. We now know that it is caused by a cell mutation, but only 5-10% of the factors for breast cancer are hereditary; other risks are caused by abnormalities from other sources.
Because environment and lifestyle contribute to your risk for breast cancer, it is important to take good care of yourself. All the lifestyle choices that contribute to vibrant health – such as eating right, exercising, and avoiding toxins and cigarettes – are also things that can help prevent disease.
To decrease the risk of breast cancer, women should try not to expose themselves to radiation or environmental pollutants. Young women should know that nursing children may also decrease the risk for breast cancer, and menopausal women should be aware that hormonal therapy may contribute to an increased risk.
As with any cancer, early detection gives the best chance for less-invasive treatments and a better chance of recovery. Women should examine their breasts monthly for any sign of a lump. The more a woman knows about her breasts, the easier it will be to recognize a change.
Women between ages of 50 and 74 are recommended to get mammograms every two years. They may also receive thermal imaging to detect heat buildup. Clinical exams by a doctor are recommended, and their frequency varies by age. The older you are, the more often you should see a doctor.
There are numerous charities working to find a cure for breast cancer, or to provide support to people affected. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, consider how you can become involved in the fight against breast cancer.
Charity Navigator rates charities and foundations, with information about finances, and transparency of salaries and fund distribution. Their highest-rated breast cancer charities include the National Breast Cancer Foundation, BreastCancer.org, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Breast Cancer Connections.
Every year the American Cancer Society sponsors Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a walking event that unites survivors and supporters. In 30 years, it has grown from 200 participants to thousands, and has raised over $460 million for breast cancer research.
To show that you support breast cancer survivors and ongoing research for a breast cancer cure, wear a pink ribbon. The color pink in general has come to be associated with support for breast cancer. It originated during a race sponsored by the Susan G Komen Foundation, in 1991. “Pink” events and “pink” products usually donate some portion of proceeds to breast cancer organizations; however, some manufacturers only use the color to raise awareness, and do not to contribute to charity. If your goal is to purchase a product to help support breast cancer, you may want to research first.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month aims to spread knowledge about breast cancer prevention, treatment, and research. Talk to the special women in your life; urge them to become educated about breast cancer.
Share your stories about living with breast cancer at Everlasting Footprint. Let’s celebrate the lives of anyone diagnosed with breast cancer together.