As the month of October gets underway, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on this very important month designated to Breast Cancer Awareness.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in American women. The average risk of developing breast cancer is approximately 1 in every 8 women.
Any new lump, mass or change in the breast, detected on your own, through self breast exam, should be evaluated by your physician. Lumps can be all shapes and sizes; they can be painful or pain free; lumps can also be found in one’s axillary region (armpit) or even in the clavicle region without a lump in the breast … the important thing to remember is not to ignore it, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Some women may not have any signs or symptoms of breast cancer but it is found at the time of their annual screening mammogram. Women ages 40-44 can begin having screening mammograms annually if they choose to, however, it is recommended women ages 45 to 54 have a mammogram each year and women 55 or older have mammograms annually or every two years. If there is a family history of breast cancer, your healthcare provider may recommend more frequent screening, examination or other testing.
The fight against breast cancer is a top priority in the medical community and there are many organizations actively involved in raising money to help with breast cancer research initiatives, education on early detection and prevention programs and providing under privileged women with free or reduced cost mammograms. If you have not had the opportunity to get involved with breast cancer awareness activities in your community, there are many opportunities out there. Below is a brief list of organizations who are always looking for volunteers … don’t be shy … investigate these or other organizations and see which one may be the right fit for you! it could be a life changing experience.
- Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure or Susan G. Komen 3-day, 60-mile walk: Consider volunteering at one of the race events or organize your own team to participate in the 5K race or 60-mile walk. The Susan G. Komen organization has been around since 1983. This went from one race with 800 participants to 140 races worldwide with over 850,000 participants. Visit the Susan G. Komen website or social media sites to learn how you can volunteer and to find an event near you. Website: https://ww5.komen.org/; Social Media Sites: www.facebook.com/SusanGKomen, https://twitter.com/SusanGKomen, https://www.youtube.com/user/KomenfortheCure, https://www.instagram.com/susangkomen/, https://www.pinterest.com/susangkomen/, https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1455
- American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk: Consider volunteering at the event or organize a team to participate in the walk. Visit the ACS website or social media sites to learn how you can volunteer and to find an event near you. The ACS has several cancer related volunteer opportunities such as Road to Recovery, Relay for Life, Reach to Recovery, Look Good, Feel Better, etc. Learn more by visiting their Website: www.cancer.org; or Social Media Sites: https://twitter.com/americancancer, https://www.facebook.com/AmericanCancerSociety, https://www.instagram.com/americancancersociety/
- The National Breast Cancer Foundation: This organization is looking for volunteers to help spread the message about early detection. To learn more about this organization, visit their Website: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org or Social Media Sites: www.facebook.com/nationalbreastcancer; https://twitter.com/NBCF, https://www.instagram.com/nbcf/, https://www.pinterest.com/nbcf/, https://www.linkedin.com/company/274598/, https://www.youtube.com/user/nbcf91
- The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade: This organization is looking for volunteers to help with fundraising or you may organize a team or join a team to participate in their 2-day, 39.3 mile walk. To learn more about this organization, visit their Website: https://www.avonfoundation.org/programs/breast-cancer/ or Social Media Sites: https://www.facebook.com/AvonBreastCancerCrusade/, https://twitter.com/avonbcc, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAae4wPsXypsz-p0Cbp_hXw, https://www.linkedin.com/company/10997489/
Please take some time over the month of October to think about all of the women worldwide who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Many of you may personally know someone in your family, have a friend or relative, possibly a daughter or maybe even you, yourself, have been impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis. We know early detection can save lives so please encourage your family, friends and relatives to be aware of this disease and help educate them on preventative measures, the importance of early detection and the common signs and symptoms they should not ignore … knowledge is power and you could help save someone’s life!