Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 5, 2020 | Category: News
Breast cancer awareness month has been celebrated since 1985, and it aims to increase awareness and encourage men and women to assess themselves regularly to identify markers of breast cancer in its early stages.
In America, breast cancer is the second most-diagnosed form of cancer in women and will develop in 1 out of 8 women in their lifetime. There is often a genetic component to developing breast cancer, so women with a family history should be even more aware of the early signs of breast cancer. Although rare, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Foundation notes that 1 out of 883 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime, but because male breast cancer is significantly less common, it is often diagnosed later than in women and can therefore be more life-threatening.
The symbolic pink ribbon was popularized as a result of a 1992 Estee Lauder campaign and continues to be the primary symbol used for current patients, survivors, and supporters. This month, we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and find new ways to increase awareness for breast cancer. Here is a list of potential ways to raise awareness besides wearing a pink ribbon:
- Conduct your own research! Awareness starts with the desire to know more. Find articles or other resources that explain aspects of the disease that you are unfamiliar with, and don’t hesitate to share with family and friends. Even if you do not have a family history of breast cancer, it’s still important to be informed, since 85% of female breast cancer diagnoses occur as a result of spontaneous mutations to an individual’s DNA.
- Share a breast cancer survivor’s story. If you are close with women or men who have survived breast cancer, consider asking them about their experience, and if they’re comfortable with it, share their story with others. A survivor’s story can be inspirational to individuals still battling cancer while also increasing sympathy for the cause.
- Consider donating to an organization that supports breast cancer patients or breast cancer research. If you’re not sure where to donate, we recommend donating here to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Most importantly, hold your friends and family accountable for conducting self-examinations and recognizing early signs. These signs include a lump in the breast or underarm area, irregular nipple appearance or pain, or swelling of the breast. For a more complete list of things to look out for, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/symptoms.htm. Remember that breast self-examination is most useful when done in conjunction with regular mammograms or physical examinations by a doctor.
Cetronia Ambulance Corps would like to take a moment this month to encourage anyone who is currently dealing with or has a history of breast cancer. Share your stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! We are sending our thoughts and prayers to you and your family!