Pink ribbons. Pink ribbons everywhere. Get ready to start seeing more of them because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you didn’t already know, the pink ribbons are meant to remind us about the importance of breast cancer early detection.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the US. The American Cancer Society estimates that 40,920 women will die from breast cancer in 2018. It’s a scary number, I know, but the good news is that it’s actually gone down by 39% from 1989 to 2015. That reduction is due to early detection and regular checkups.
You never think it’ll be you or anyone you care about until it is. So, join the fight against breast cancer by doing the following.
Start or participate in a Fundraiser
You can organize a race, walk, benefit dinner or bake sale to raise money that will go towards breast cancer research, free screening, education, and resources. Contact a breast cancer organization to partner with. They can provide you with the supplies and logistical help you’ll need to make your fundraiser a success.
Try to Go Viral
Hashtag activism gets a lot of flack, but it can be pretty effective in some cases. Seriously, think about it: #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, #ASLIceBucketChallenge, and #BringBackOurGirls all brought a lot of much-needed attention to some important social issues. This month try making a small difference by sharing articles (start with this one), stories, infographics, and memes about breast cancer with #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth.
Talk to your friends and family
Encourage your friends and family to get a mammogram or do self-examinations. Give them statistics and information about how early detection can make all the difference in whether or not you survive breast cancer. Because folks still rely on word of mouth more than anything, hearing this stuff from a loved one, might be the push they need to finally make an appointment.
There are hundreds of charities and nonprofits doing work for breast cancer awareness who are always in need of a helping hand. Check out volounteermatch.com to find job-specific postings in your area.
Put up a Poster at your Workplace
Use a well-positioned poster at the coffee pot or water cooler to remind your colleagues about the dangers of breast cancer.
Of course, the best thing you can do to support breast cancer awareness is to become a walking talking breast cancer information center. And since you can’t help others, if you can’t help yourself make sure you take these steps to promote your own awareness.
1. Understand your personal risk for breast cancer by doing some research into your family history.
2. Use an online Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. The National Cancer Research Institute has one on their website.
3. Become an expert on the disease. Learn about the symptoms, prevention methods, and treatment options.
Do you have a story about breast cancer or have any helpful tips to share about how to raise awareness? Let us know in the comments!