When we think of October, we typically think of falling leaves, Halloween, and pumpkin spice lattes. But this month represents so much more. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month, and here at Envy Wigs, we would like to dedicate this post to all the pink warriors out there—anyone who has been touched by this disease, and the men, women, and children who have dedicated their time and resources to raising awareness and support for the cause.
Chances are, we have all been affected by cancer at some point in our lives—whether we, ourselves are survivors, or have known someone who has been diagnosed. It’s a frightening disease, and a topic that’s often difficult to discuss, but it’s equally important that we continue to raise awareness in the hopes that one day we will find a cure.
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. To put this into perspective, this year alone there will have been 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women, 61,000 cases of non-invasive breast cancer. By the end of 2016, 40,450 will died from the disease. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death and is one of the most common forms of cancer among American women. Though it’s rare, men are also susceptible to this disease, with roughly 1 in 1000 men diagnosed with a form of breast cancer every year. No one wants to think about cancer or the chances of being diagnosed, but it can happen to anyone.
The American Cancer Society estimates the number of breast cancer survivors in the United States to be around 2.8 million. Many of these women and men caught their symptoms early, preventing their cancer from progressing. For those with stage 0 or stage 1 breast cancer, the survival rate is near 100%. This is due in part to early detection, which is why it is so important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms yourself. The most important thing is to be familiar with your body so you can recognize if there is ever a change. According to the National Breast Cancer Center, 40% of breast cancer diagnoses are detected after a woman feels a lump during monthly self-exams. Set a reminder on your calendar, or have a friend or partner help you remember to check yourself out once a month—it could save your life. Check out the Five Steps of a Breast Self Exam at BreastCancer.org. If you’re 40 or older, your chances of breast cancer are much higher than someone in their 20s or 30s, so it’s important to schedule yearly mammograms.
In addition to conducting self-exams, it’s important to know the symptoms of breast cancer. If you notice a change in the appearance and feel of your breast or nipple, such as lumps, abnormal skin texture, tenderness, or discharge, see your doctor right away. Not every change in your breasts are linked to cancer, but it’s always best to check with your doctor to be safe. In addition, while there is no guarantee of preventing breast cancer, there are ways to decrease your chances—following a healthy lifestyle, including plenty of exercise and nutritious foods, has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer, as well as many other serious diseases.
If you are interested in joining the cause to end breast cancer, there are many ways to do so. Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure and American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer are great events that anyone can get involved in. Whether you want to volunteer, donate, or participate, you’ll can join the movement to find a cure. This month, celebrate your good health and celebrate those around you. Be proactive, stay healthy, and wear your pink ribbons proudly!
How to Make a Difference: