Every October, dating back to 1985, Breast Cancer Awareness comes to the forefront and is recognized by cancer survivors, governments and the media.
The goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is crystal clear: bring awareness, treatment, detection and funding to this dreadful disease. According to the nonprofit Breastcancer.org, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. In 2020 alone, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected and 42,530 women in the U.S. are expected to die from it. We have to continue to help advocate against breast in order to improve these statistics.
The American Cancer Society reports, breast cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the breast and the cells usually form a tumor that can be seen on x-ray or felt as a lump. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women with the exception of skin cancer. The wonderful thing about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is it helps educate the public about breast cancer. The more information we have about a disease or health challenge, the more opportunities we have to defeat it.
There is no perfect path to prevent breast cancer, but there are a few things that women can do that may lower their risk. These steps may help:
- Remain at a healthy weight level- Try and maintain a healthy weight level throughout life by balancing your food intake, eating healthy and engaging in physical activity.
- Limit or avoid alcohol- Even low levels of alcohol have been linked to an increase cancer risk.
- Increased Physical Activity- Studies indicate that increased physical activity lowers the risk of breast cancer.
- Healthy Diet- This is still under review by the experts, but some studies report diets high in fruits, vegetables, calcium rich dairy products, and low red meats might help lower breast cancer risk.
The encouraging news is that we have 3.5 million women across the United States who have survived breast cancer and many of those outcomes would not be possible without breast cancer awareness.
October is the perfect time to honor the survivors of breast cancer, and these are a few ways we should consider:
- Meet and visit with your physician- Discuss family history and individual risks.
- Spread the word- Educate yourself and those around you. Checkups, screenings and mammograms help save lives.
- Celebrate our 3.5 million survivors- Take time to celebrate your family member or friend who has succeeded against the breast cancer villain. A simple card or gift can let them know how much you care.
Thankfully, the breast cancer awareness campaign is working! Breast cancers are now being detected earlier and at a more treatable stage. Let's all chip in and do our part to help spread the word and keep our women cancer free!