October is Breast Cancer Awareness month where we focus our attention at the national level on early diagnosis and raising funds for research for a cure.
Since the year 2000, breast cancer deaths have gone down each year. However, breast cancer is still the second highest cause of death in women. 1 in 8 women are expected to have invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Because of early detection and continued research, more women are surviving each year.
It is difficult to prevent breast cancer from occurring due to a large genetic component but through regular breast cancer screenings, it can help with early detection and a better prognosis. For women between 20 – 39, breast exams should be done by a professional once every three years. For women over 40, breast mammograms should be done once a year or as indicated by your doctor. Also, at home screenings at least once a month can help prevent cancer from escalating.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, speak to your doctor on what your course of action should be. A doctor will be able to tell you what breast cancer screenings are right for you as well as the frequency.
Aside from screenings, there are many ways you can help support this cause. You can participate in breast cancer walks which not only promote healthy living but helps unify breast cancer survivors and advocates everywhere. These walks raise money through donations to further help the cause.
You can also purchase products from businesses that are making donations to the cause. Many businesses will sell limited edition products where profits are donated to breast cancer research during the month of October. You can also make direct donations to breast cancer research foundations.
Awareness and financial support are the biggest ways that as a society, we can see the incidence of breast cancer continue to go down. With your support, we can see real change.
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