Have you been seeing a lot of pink around these days? That’s probably because it’s October, and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Do you know a survivor? Perhaps you’re a survivor, yourself. In honor of everyone–men and women–who have been touched by this disease, Envy Wigs would like to dedicate this post to the pink cause.
First, let’s cover the basic facts. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 woman out of every 8 will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death and, other than skin cancer, is the most common form of cancer among American women. It’s also important to note, though it’s rare, men are also susceptible to this disease–roughly 1 in 1000 men are diagnosed with a form of breast cancer every year. Many people think they are not at risk of contracting the disease because no one in their family has ever been diagnosed, but this is a misleading and dangerous thought process. Though it’s true your risk is higher if someone in your family has breast cancer, only about 10% of individuals diagnosed have any family history of the disease.
The good news is, if the disease is caught early enough, the five-year survival rate is almost 100%. This is why organizations such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen, the American Cancer Society, the CDC, and many many others are dedicated to educating the public about breast cancer during the month of October–and throughout the year. They recommend you give yourself a breast self-exam monthly. Become familiar with the landscape of your body, so you’ll be more likely to note any changes that could be of concern. In addition, you should schedule yearly breast and pelvic examinations with a clinical professional, as they may be able to catch things you wouldn’t necessarily notice or know to look for. They can also potentially put your mind at ease, if you do find something abnormal–not every lump is cancer. But if you are concerned about a change in your breasts, you don’t have to wait for your yearly check-up. Go see your doctor, just in case. And if you’re 40 or older, you should definitely be getting regular mammograms. Early detection is the absolute best way to fight breast cancer!
In the meantime, though nothing is 100% guaranteed to prevent breast cancer, a healthy diet and regular exercise can go a long way to boosting your immune system and lowering your risk. Even exercising as little as 3 hours a week, or 30 minutes a day, can make a huge difference. Take yourself for a power walk at lunchtime, or consider riding your bike around the neighborhood before dinner. As for food, a low-fat diet with lots of fruits and green and orange veggies is the way to go. Foods that are higher in fat tend to increase your risk, as fat triggers estrogen production, which can fuel tumor growth.
If you’re interested in doing more to support the cause of Breast Cancer Awareness, there are plenty of opportunities to contribute. Many local organizations hold run/walks and other fundraising events that encourage people to get out, socialize, have fun, and raise money and awareness for the cause. Below, you will find a list of websites that have suggestions and resources about how you can make a difference. And as with most things, word of mouth can go further than almost any other medium. So, get out there, get yourself checked…and tell everyone you know!