October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The event was established in 1985 by the American Cancer Society. In its 29th year, the month long event is focused on education, support, and fundraising. These activities actually happen year round, but National Breast Cancer Awareness month presents the opportunity to bring more attention to the disease, preventative measure, and ongoing efforts to find a cure.
As many of you have probably noticed, the color pink seems to be everywhere during October. 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 offer limited pink merchandise during the month with proceeds going towards breast cancer foundation research. While you can donate directly to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation via their website [link: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/], it doesn’t hurt to purchase items made specifically for the event. Just be sure to read all the fine print to ensure the vendor is disclosing where funds are going and specifically states what percentage of proceeds will be donated and how it will be used.
If donating money isn’t an option, check your community’s calendar to see if any organizations are hosting a charity run or walk. For example, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is taking place in several cities and dates throughout October. The Avon Walk occurs in New York and Charlotte in October, and every dollar they raise goes towards early detection, research, treatment, and more. Up to 80% of the funds gathered from each even stay local, too. They provide details about where the money goes so you can feel reassured you’re raising funds for a good cause. Learn more at their website. American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk is also happening around the country this month. There are plenty of ways to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month by slipping on some sneakers and fundraising.
Last but not least, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Both women and men can get breast cancer, but the risk rate is higher for women. Be sure you’re performing self-exams, going to a doctor for professional examinations, and getting mammograms when necessary (ask your doctor when you should start scheduling those). 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. Events like National Breast Cancer Awareness month help.