We are reaching the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but as we all know, that doesn’t mean that breast cancer stops. Throughout the month, we’ve seen the ubiquitous pink ribbons, along with the tricolor pink, teal, and green MBC ribbons, and recognized specific awareness days like Going Flat Day on October 7th and MBC Awareness Day on October 13th. But how can we continue to bring awareness (and action) to breast cancer, take control of our own health, and advocate for more research on MBC so that we can find a cure, beyond October? Here are ten steps you can take any time of year:
Ask your doctor about breast density
Learn your family’s medical history
Schedule your annual mammogram
Do monthly self-exams of your breasts. Familiarize yourself with what they feel like, so you’ll notice if something feels different.
Do your research about what exactly brands mean when they say “a portion of profits” go to breast cancer research or awareness.
If you are a friend or family member of someone with breast cancer, ask them how you can support them during this time? Perhaps they’d appreciate you driving them to a doctor's appointment, cooking a nourishing freezer-friendly meal, or babysitting their kids so they can have some time to rest.
Organize or participate in a breast cancer research fundraiser any time of year, not just October.
Remember that for some, the added focus on breast cancer throughout October can be upsetting and exhausting, bringing painful memories and emotions to the forefront. It’s okay to be glad that the month is over if breast cancer awareness month is a difficult time for you.
Podcast Ep. #127. Pink Culture and Breast Cancer Awareness Month | Bridging the gap between 0 - 4
In today's episode we speak with a panel of women who were diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, early stage breast cancer that metastasized, and women diagnosed with MBC de Novo. This raw and candid conversation provides education to the masses about breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, and what the breast cancer community wants you to know about October. Listen Now.
From Around The Web
No Half Measures (Personal Blog)
On her blog, No Half Measures: Living Out Loud, Abigail Johnston, a lawyer and mom of two young boys, shares daily posts about the reality of what it is like living with metastatic breast cancer. Breast cancer and MBC are a reality for so many people every day, not just in October. Read More.
This article shares how you can continue the breast cancer awareness all year long. In addition to fundraising and bringing awareness to the condition, they also highlight healthy lifestyle habits to lessen the risk of developing breast cancer in the first place. While we can’t change some risk factors like genetics or age, “there are a number of very simple ways that you can counteract the risk factors:
Refrain from smoking.
“Nobody knows better than advocates and breast cancer survivors that fundraising for breast cancer research is critically important. The millions raised during the last 36 years since Breast Cancer Awareness month began have funded research that led to advances in diagnosis and treatment. But if potential donors want to ensure that their monetary gift reaches the organization they want to support, they have got to pay attention; sadly, they cannot assume best intentions even if the cause is worthy.” Read More.
Dr. Jame Abraham, a breast cancer doctor, shares how he and his patients are fighting breast cancer every day, not just in October. He also reflects on how the disease is viewed differently in the US and other countries. “I frequently travel back and forth now between the U.S and India, where I attended medical school and where the public acceptance of cancer and the taboo of a cancer diagnosis are glaringly different. During my travels, I am reminded of the strength of pink in October and am thankful for the power of public advocacy. Public advocacy increases awareness, breaks the taboo of cancer diagnosis, and creates a national dialogue.” Read More.