October is well known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may see lots of pink these days as different organizations help shed light on various aspects of breast cancer such as treatments, diagnosis, prevention methods, and cures.
Breast cancer is a disease that affects approximately 1 in 8 women across the United States, with about 40,000 American women losing their lives every year. It is much more common in women than men, with women over the age of 50 being the most at risk. Thankfully, many women can survive breast cancer if it is detected early. For this reason, making sure people are well-educated and aware of vital information is so important.
For decades, millions of people have gotten involved during this month to help increase awareness of this disease. So what can you do to help support these efforts as an individual? We’ve outlined some great ways to do exactly that, keep reading to learn more!
Volunteer Your Time
One of the best things you can do during the month of October is to volunteer with organizations that help raise awareness for breast cancer, support survivors, and help patients. You can help package care kits for women currently undergoing treatment or become an ambassador that promotes helpful information on preventing and screening for breast cancer.
You can also help participate in fundraising walks that help raise money for breast cancer research, education, and legislation. If you have any skills that could help cancer patients, get creative and volunteer with organizations that support this kind of work. For example, many cosmetologists help breast cancer survivors navigate hair loss during treatment.
Educate Your Community
Another great way to step up during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to help educate yourself and your surrounding community about early breast cancer detection. Knowing the risks involved with this disease makes it more likely to detect symptoms early and survive a diagnosis. Unfortunately, many women are blindsided by a diagnosis and miss the opportunity to detect breast cancer earlier on.
Spread the word to your friends and family about the importance of getting mammograms. Provide them with options on where to go for free screenings and encourage them to get checked out. You can also provide guidance on how to check breasts for abnormalities. Doing so can help people detect potential symptoms early on and increase the likelihood of successful treatment.
Check Your Own Health
October is a great reminder to check in with your own health and well-being as well. Review whether your risk factors have increased in recent years and schedule a mammogram if appropriate. Self-exams are also easy to do and experts recommend checking breasts every month by touch and sight. Keep track of any changes in how your breasts may feel or look.
Additionally, giving your lifestyle a healthy boost can help reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems. Use this month to make lifestyle choices that naturally help prevent breast cancer. For example, take stock of your activity and exercise levels to see if you’re moving enough every week.
Check-in on your diet and try to eliminate some unhealthy snacks or habits that may have formed recently. Cutting back on alcohol can also be a great idea this month, as women that drink three or more alcoholic beverages a week have a 15% increased risk of developing breast cancer.
As you can see, there are many great ways to get involved during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Help spread the word about important ways to prevent and detect this disease amongst your community.
Try to volunteer if you can by helping give back to breast cancer patients or by raising money for future research and cures. Finally, use October as a time to check in on your own well-being and boost your chances of preventing this disease from forming.
Maneeza Hasan – Maneeza is a content marketing professional from Los Angeles, California. She loves to create content that helps people live better lives. To learn more about her please visit her website at www.maneeza.com