Current Magazine

Your Guide To Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on the 17 October 2013 by Pacificprime @ThePacificPrime

breast cancer awareness
Around the world, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in honor of the brave cancer survivors and beloved, lost victims of this serious disease, you owe it to yourself and others to take a few minutes to learn what you can do to protect yourself and those you love through early detection, and to find out how to support the search for a cure.

The Facts

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer to affect women (after skin cancer) and while it is most common in caucasian women over age 50, it can be found in anyone at any age, with many African American women often detecting a lump as early as age 30. In total, in the U.S.A. breast cancer makes up nearly a third of all female cancers annually, and approximately one in eight women will develop a lump at some point in her life. This means that statistically, 1.5 percent of women will discover breast cancer every year, and of those cases around 17 percent will prove fatal.

And remember, breast cancer doesn’t just affect women. Globally, an estimated 2 to 3 percent of breast cancer patients are men, most notably above 60 years of age. So gentlemen, check yourselves out, even if you feel like you have to do it in secret.

Thankfully, in the U.S.A. breast cancer has seen a sharp decline in severe cases, down by an estimated 34 percent compared to rates 1990, largely due to increased early detection and self-checks; and the trend is spreading worldwide. So give yourself a self breast exam, whether you’re a woman or a man. It saves lives.

Get Checked Out

Prevention starts at home. Oncologists generally agree that all women should do breast self-exams every month starting from the time their breasts begin to develop. Getting into the routine early means that they will be familiar with their breasts, and know when a lump may be developing.

For step-by-step instructions on how to do a thorough breast self-check visit BREASTCANCER.ORG’s website.

Home-based check-ups are important, but they are no replacement for a proper mammogram. Women should schedule a mammogram and accompanying breast cancer screening for every three years from ages 20 to 40, and then at least bi-annually for every year after that. However, women with very dense or firm breasts should consider annual mammograms since self-tests are usually difficult to yield results.

A mammogram is the key element to early detection and treatment since it gives doctors a clear view of what’s going on, and of what could be (but hopefully isn’t) a possible tumor and therefore a serious health risk.

And of course, don’t assume that everyone is getting checked out just because you are. Encourage your friends, family and coworkers to get screened too. It could save your life and theirs.

Show Support

The fight against breast cancer has become a global mission. Around the world in October high-risk countries are pulling together to not only bring attention to the disease, but also to fund and support the hunt for cure.

Listing every event and fundraiser would be nigh-on impossible here, so be sure to look into your local options for giving support, either in person or online. Some of the best national breast cancer awareness websites to help you educate yourself are:

Australia – Cancer Australia

Canada – The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

New Zealand – The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

South Africa – CANSA

United Kingdom – Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer UK

United States of America – The American Breast Cancer Foundation and The American Cancer Society

Additionally, October is a great time to donate to help finance care for victims of breast cancer and their families along with research and support agencies. But don’t forget that donations are accepted year round, too. Some of the most popular and trusted breast cancer donation foundations are shown below, though there are likely plenty of other local options for financial and time donations near you.

Susan G. Komen sponsors fundraisers and events to increase breast cancer awareness and benefit victims, along with providing information and counseling for patients and their families.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a non-profit fundraising organization which seeks grants and donations from individuals and corporations to fund research towards prevention and finding a cure. Donations in any amount are accepted from anyone and are then gifted to research centers around the world.

Against Breast Cancer is a UK-based fundraising organization which hopes to someday protect every woman against the risk of breast cancer by finding a vaccine against the disease, thus eliminating it once and for all. Outright donations are accepted on a one-time or recurring basis, and the group also hosts fundraisers and events.

Finally, be sure to tap into your favorite social media outlets to stay up-to-date on ways that you can continue to do your part to support the victims of breast cancer and search for a cure, and to keep up with how you can help throughout the coming year.

Be Sociable, Share!
Your Guide To Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog