October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Awareness, information and knowledge is also just as crucial.
Why Observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month
A. It promotes self-care
Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds women (and men ) that monthly breast cancer exams should be a regular part of one's self care. If you have never performed a self-exam, ask your doctor or nurse practitioner to guide you through. Look for changes within and surrounding your breast including dimpling, redness, scaliness or nipple discharge. Granted, some breasts are a little more "lumpy" than others but changes in size or in the tissue should send up a red alert to make an appointment to see your physician.
B. It focuses on treatment
There are several different types of breast cancer. Treatment options depend on various patient factors: the stage and specific type of cancer, age and overall health at the time of diagnosis, and the patient's personal and family history. After the diagnosis, a patient should consult with family to choose a physician who can go over treatment options like surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation,
C. It shouts the good news
The National Cancer Institute recently declared that the U.S. cancer rate fell for diagnosed women between 2006-2015. Also, the FDA approved an at-home genetic testing kit for women to assess whether they carry any of the three gene mutations associated with breast cancer. Oncoplastic surgery, another positive option, is a surgical "two-fer" allowing the removal of cancerous breast tissue immediately followed by the re-sculpting of the breast's remaining tissue, restoring symmetry and a more natural appearance.
What can you do?
There are many worthy organizations that support breast cancer patients and survivors. Many of these organizations do amazing things on small budgets. A great way to show your support during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to make a monetary donation to a breast cancer charity. Before you donate, do some homework though. You want to make sure your money is going to HELP women through their journey with breast cancer. Many larger charities have high administrative costs that eat up donations, so if you really want to make a difference, research the charity before you donate to make sure your dollars will be well spent.
Share a story
Cancer survivors, family members, caregivers and medical professionals have a chance to share their perspectives on how cancer impacts their lives. Do an online search of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and you'll discover various organizations that have links to social media blogs, video platforms and more. Upload your story and feel proud that you are one more voice of victory against this disease.
Pink is the color du jour for October's campaign. Some people change their website's background colors to pink for the month. Others rummage through their closets and pull out pink everything — sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, entire outfits — even wigs! Many workplaces hold Pink Days to encourage coworkers to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.