October is breast cancer awareness month. This is an excellent time to gain some knowledge about this leading cause of death. New treatments, preventative screenings and ongoing research are saving more and more lives every day. Consider getting involved to help spread the word.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a cancer that develops in breast tissue cells and progresses through stages. It comes in many forms and can affect both women and men alike. Early on, there are often few symptoms. However, a new lump felt in the breast or underarm region, or a breast nipple that itches (with or without discharge) should always be investigated.
Why is breast cancer awareness important?
The best chance to beat breast cancer is to catch it in its earlier stages. By raising awareness of the importance of doing self-breast exams, knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and undergoing recommended breast cancer screenings, you can help prevent or limit the progression of this disease and increase the chances of successful treatment and recovery.
How to get involved in spreading breast cancer awareness
There are many ways to help bring awareness to breast cancer and encourage others to take the appropriate steps to screen for breast cancer so it can be caught early. Read on to learn about 10 ways you can get involved that can truly make a difference.
1. Wear the color pink to show your support
Traditionally, a pink ribbon was and is an enduring symbol to promote breast cancer awareness. Today, people are wearing pink clothing, painting their nails pink and even coloring their hair pink to show support.
2. Participate in a breast cancer fundraiser or walk/run for a cure
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization is at the forefront of breast cancer research fundraising with events like the Komen Race for the Cure that is held in locations worldwide. Find a walk/run breast cancer event in your community and get your family and friends to come along too.
3. Get educated regarding available life-saving breast cancer screenings
One of the most critical elements of breast cancer awareness is to get educated regarding the many available, affordable and sometimes free life-saving breast cancer screenings held throughout the year—especially in October.
4. Volunteer for breast cancer events and organizations in your community
There are many worthwhile opportunities for people who want to get involved during breast cancer awareness month, including volunteering for breast cancer-related events and organizations. Look online or contact your OB-GYN’s office to find out what volunteer opportunities are available in your area.
5. Help someone struggling with breast cancer
Breast cancer patients often need some assistance around the home with babysitting, rides to doctor appointments, lawn mowing and just about anything else we often take for granted when we’re feeling well. Help someone dealing with breast cancer today. This could be as simple as organizing a neighborhood meal plan where neighbors take turns providing healthy meals.
6. Explore free online breast cancer teaching and support sites
A diagnosis is scary, but there are free resources online and elsewhere, some of which are also available in app form. These resources often provide real survivor testimonies that are uplifting, as well as information about up-to-date cancer treatment, research and educational facts.
7. Organize a fundraiser at work or in your community
Fundraising doesn’t always have to be an overly complicated process. Set out a donation jar at your workplace, decorate a bulletin board in a public location, or help your kids set up a lemonade stand. You could also hold a block yard sale with neighbors or plan a bake sale to help raise funds.
8. Separate myths from current facts and spread the word
Knowing the facts saves lives. Get in touch with the American Cancer Society or another breast cancer organization online, by phone or through the mail to get valuable statistics and facts about this disease and share them with coworkers, family, friends and neighbors.
9. Become a breast cancer patient advocate and/or get involved in research
Nurses, teachers, social workers and many others are often in a position to advocate for breast cancer patients. Getting involved in research studies and various clinical trials is another great way to make a difference, especially for those with a family history of breast cancer.
10. Share awareness on social media
Social media is a great place to reach people you may not interact with on a daily basis. In addition to raising awareness about breast cancer, you might also consider using social media as a fundraising tool.
If just a few people in every geographical location took just a few minutes to educate themselves, share their findings with others and participate in 1 or more breast cancer awareness campaigns held in October or throughout the year, what an awesome difference this could make.
Make an appointment with All About Women to discuss breast cancer concerns and screening options
Breast cancer screenings are routinely discussed during your annual well-woman checkup, but if you have any concerns in between checkups or if you want to learn about additional screening options, contact us today to schedule your appointment.
At All About Women, we pride ourselves on offering compassionate care to women at all stages of life. Contact us at our Gainesville or Lake City office today if you need to make a well-woman appointment or if you have other concerns about your reproductive health.