October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every October, millions of Americans attend awareness events and fundraisers around the country to increase awareness and raise money for breast cancer research. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Despite these startling statistics, many women can survive breast cancer if it’s detected and treated early on. But, while most people are aware of breast cancer, few know how to detect the disease early on.
So, how can you help increase awareness and fundraise for breast cancer?
• Know the facts – The first step to increasing awareness for breast cancer is educating yourself about the disease. Inform yourself about statistics, symptoms and breast cancer foundations, so that you can spread knowledge about the cause and know where to donate.
• Encourage early detection – Women who have breast cancer have cancer cells forming in the tissues of their breast. The damaged cells can spread to the surrounding tissue. But, by detecting and treating the cancer early on, many women can survive and continue living a normal life. Based on their age and health history, all women should get screened for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends women over age 40 undergo mammograms and clinical breast exams annually. Women in their 20s and 30s should get a clinical breast exam every three years. Once women reach their 20s, they should routinely conduct breast self-exams. Encourage your friends and family to consult with their doctor about a screening.
• Fundraise – Participate in an awareness event or race in your community. These events are a great way to raise awareness and fundraise for the cause. The money you raise will to a foundation or charity aimed at finding a cure and providing mammograms and support services to women in need.
• Wear pink – Pink is the universal color for breast cancer. During the month of October, people all over the country will be showing their support by wearing pink shirts, breast cancer bracelets or pins. Sports teams show their support by wearing pink uniforms or displaying pink ribbons on their jerseys. Show your support for the cause by wearing breast cancer awareness items and encourage others to do the same.