Breast cancer is very common. About 12% of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. And an estimated 42,000 women die from breast cancer each year. Thankfully, fatality rates have been steadily decreasing since 1989, especially in women over 50 years old. The reason for the drop in breast cancer-related deaths is believed to be the result of advancements in treatment options, earlier detection, and increased awareness.
Increasing breast cancer awareness is one of the most important steps we can take toward preventing cancer-related deaths. That’s why October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The National Breast Cancer Foundation hosts an annual campaign designed to provide women with resources to help them better detect and cope with the disease. Some resources include: a symptom guide, survivor stories, donation coordination, as well as volunteer and educational opportunities.
If you’re looking for ways to get involved and help spread the word about breast cancer, here are a few ideas to try:
- Wear a Pink Ribbon – These are a well-recognized symbol for breast cancer, so by wearing one in the month of October, you can spark conversations with co-workers or even strangers about the importance of cancer screenings. You might even want to carry some with you to hand out and spread the word.
- Organize a Lecture – Many healthcare professionals are happy to share their knowledge at your community organization or place of employment. Ask your local healthcare facility to coordinate a short instructional lecture to share information about breast cancer.
- Share Your Experience – Write a short article about ways breast cancer has impacted your life and share it with a local publication or on social media.
- Make Baked Goods – And package them with brief information about breast cancer awareness month. Tie them with a pink ribbon for added impact. Your coworkers will be grateful for the treat and hopefully take the information to heart.
- Participate in a Fundraiser – There are many wonderful organizations that host events to raise money for breast cancer awareness and fundraising. Some options include:
If you do decide to get involved with a charitable organization, go one step further and include your friends or colleagues. You’ll be surprised by how many people are willing to help out.
Even though every situation is different, many deaths can be prevented by early detection and diagnosis. And the more research that goes into it, the better the techniques that are developed. That’s why it’s so important to get involved this October and spread the word about breast cancer.