Chances are, you know someone who has been affected by breast cancer—whether they are a survivor, family member or someone who lost the battle. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to join the fight and work towards a cure.
Here are some eye-opening statistics:
- With a diagnosis rate of one in every eight, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
- More than 40,000 women die from breast cancer every year in the United States alone.
- However, it’s not just a women’s health concern: approximately 2,150 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
How Can You Help?
Cancer is notorious for leaving friends and family members feeling helpless. While you might not be able to heal your loved ones, you can help take action and join the fight for the cure. Here are five steps you can take this month to join the fight against breast cancer.
#1 - Develop an Early Detection Plan for Yourself and Loved Ones
Detecting breast cancer early is the single best way to increase your survival rate. Breast cancer that is discovered while still in the localized stage comes with a five-year survival rate of 98 percent. To track your own risks, develop an early detection plan and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Learn about potential warning signs and perform regular breast self-exams.
Your plan can remind you to remain vigilant in your monthly self-exams, while also scheduling clinical exams and a mammogram when needed.
#2 - Share the Facts
One of the best ways to help raise awareness is by simply sharing the facts. Arm yourself with accurate information about the risks and symptoms of breast cancer to promote awareness and early detection.
#3 - Get Involved in a Walk
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can probably find a fundraising walk in your community. Regardless of whether you raise money, donate your time or walk alongside survivors, getting involved in an organized walk, like Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, is a great way to aid in the awareness effort and become part of a united community.
#4 - Fundraise for Research
Money raised for breast cancer research is important for funding efforts to find a cure. If you have the means, donating your time or money can help to make a difference.
However, make sure you do your research when choosing an organization to support. There are literally hundreds of breast cancer charities, and they might not all allocate funds in a way you support. You should feel free to ask an organization how they will use your donation and how much of it will go towards supporting breast cancer research.
#5 - Wear Pink
While the “Think Pink” movement is not without controversy, wearing a pink ribbon or pink clothing is a small way to show your support to survivors and fighters throughout the month.
Social media can also be a powerful tool for showing encouragement for friends, relatives and others who are battling breast cancer or whose fight has inspired you. This month, we’re honoring them on our Partners For Your Health Facebook page.
From now through the end of October, you can help us spread the message of hope by creating a customized graphic for your loved one.
How do you plan to get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Share your plans and stories in the comments section below.
For tips on understanding your risk factors and early detection for breast cancer, download our free guide, What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer At Every Age.