Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 5 Practical Ways We Can Fight Breast Cancer
We are already past the midway point of October, and you have likely seen the pink ribbons on peoples’ clothes, vehicles, social media profiles, and other places. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 250,000 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. this year, and more than 40,000 women will die from it. Our efforts to raise awareness through the pink campaign are noble, meaningful, and necessary, but for those who want to do more, there are other steps we can take to fight this deadly disease.
Here are five things we can do to combat breast cancer in our corner of the world
Make sure you and your loved ones get screened.
- With all the pink we see every October, it can sometimes become so familiar that we forget the actual reason we are putting on pink in the first place. Breast cancer awareness is more than just being “aware” that it’s out there, it’s acting on that information to prevent this disease from happening with you or those around you. Here are the general guidelines for breast cancer screenings:
- Women Age 40-44: At this age, women should consider starting annual breast cancer screenings with a mammogram (x-ray of the chest). This is especially important if you have a history of cancer in your family.
- Women Age 45-54: It is recommended that women in this age group have annual mammograms.
- Women Age 55 and Over: Women at this age can continue annual mammograms or switch to having mammograms every two years. This should continue as long as you are in good health and expected to live at least 10 years longer.
Donate to breast cancer research.
Though more people are aware of breast cancer than ever before, there is still a critical need for more cancer research funding. Professionals are hard at work trying to find a cure, but they need more support to make this happen. There are many good cancer research charities you can donate to. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is one of the most reputable, but there are others you can look at as well.
Help someone in your community who has cancer.
Those who are battling cancer are literally in the fight of their lives. Their energy is often drained from chemo and other treatments, and they frequently feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on. Cancer sufferers need help in numerous ways. They need their dogs walked, their lawns mowed, their houses cleaned, a ride to chemotherapy, and many other tasks done. If you can help with any of these things, it could be a major lift to someone who is feeling heavily burdened by the weight of their condition.
Donate items to cancer survivors.
You may not know anyone who has cancer. You can still help out by donating items you no longer need to a local chemotherapy center. In almost every town, there are oncologists who will accept clothing, blankets, scarves, hats, and other personal items to give to local cancer patients.
Contact your lawmakers and ask them to make fighting breast cancer a priority.
Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death among women in the United States. Our local congressmen, senators, and other lawmakers should be aware of this fact (if they are not aware with all the publicity it receives every October, they probably shouldn’t be in elected office in the first place). The problem is that, although they know this is a deadly disease, they are not doing enough to find a cure. This would be a good time to contact your lawmakers and ask them to do more to fight breast cancer. The more they hear from their constituents, the more likely they are to take action on this issue.
These are just a few of the ways you can move from awareness to action and take practical steps to fight breast cancer. A Google search will most certainly turn up many other things you can do to get further involved in this battle. If we all do our part, we can vastly reduce the number of breast cancer sufferers and eventually put an end to this deadly condition.