Have you been seeing lots of pink, lately? October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Established in 1985 by the American Cancer Society, this month long event—represented by a pink ribbon—is focused on education, support, and fundraising. While many of these activities occur year round, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month presents the opportunity to bring more attention to the disease, preventative measures, and ongoing efforts to find a cure.
So…why pink? A pink ribbon was established by The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (founded by Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estee Lauder Companies) as the foundation’s symbol in 1993. Many companies and organizations show their support for the cause by offering pink merchandise during the month of October, with proceeds going towards breast cancer research.
While you can donate directly to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation via their website, purchasing and wearing pink breast cancer-related merchandise helps spread awareness and encourages others to get involved, as well. If you choose to buy pink goods from somewhere other than the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, just be sure to read the fine print to ensure the vendor is disclosing where funds are going, what percentage of proceeds will be donated, and how it will be used.
If donating money isn’t an option, there are several ways to get out and get active. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk take place in several cities with varying dates throughout October. There are plenty of ways to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month by slipping on some sneakers and fundraising—check your community’s calendar to see if which of your local organizations are hosting a charity event.
Last, but not least—in fact, this is probably the most important thing you can do—don’t forget to take care of yourself. Both women and men can get breast cancer, but the risk rate is much higher for women. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 woman out of every 8 will be diagnosed with a form of invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Be sure you’re performing self-exams, going to a doctor for professional examinations, and getting mammograms when necessary. Breast cancer can be treated, and there are many survivors. It’s important that we all keep taking action to detect the disease as early as possible.
For info on protecting yourself financially if you get cancer, this article has some great info on navigating Medicare: