Every October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a time to learn about breast cancer, support victims, and become educated on ways to prevent and treat this disease that affects millions of women.
Surviving breast cancer is possible for many women. Thanks to early detection, efforts to increase awareness, life-saving research, and treatment options, this all-too-common cancer does not necessarily mean the worst.
Part of the goal of breast cancer awareness month is to share facts with women, not just American women but those around the world who face the prospect of a breast cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer touches nearly every family. One in eight women will find out they have breast cancer in their lifetime. Knowledge is a powerful weapon that can help women stay healthy and live long, healthy lives.
Understanding and Mitigating The Risk Factors of Breast Cancer
What are some of the risk factors of breast cancer, and how can you mitigate some of the risks?
Family History: If you do have a family history of cancer, it is important to speak with a health care provider about what this means for your health and well-being. Some genes may make women more susceptible to developing breast cancer than others who do not carry these types of genes.
The knowledge that you have a gene that might predispose you to cancer can be an incredible weapon to have in your corner. It can make you more inclined to check your breasts regularly or speak to your doctor about any other options to decrease your risk of the disease.
Hormones: Women who are post-menopausal and take hormone replacement therapy may have a greater risk of developing cancer of the breast. Your family cancer history may dictate your decision on how or if to treat symptoms of menopause.
Weight: Being overweight increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Losing weight, even a few pounds, may help lower this risk. Maintaining an optimal weight is an excellent way to take control of your health.
Diet: What you eat also affects your chances of developing breast cancer. Eating foods high in saturated fats may increase the risk. Processed meats, such as hot dogs, and lunch meat, have been linked to an increase in certain types of cancers, including breast. It’s important to limit these foods from your diet if you have a family history or if you are at increased risk of breast cancer.
Exercise: According to the American Cancer Society, getting enough exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can lower your chances of developing breast cancer, even as much as 25 percent.
Awareness galvanizes action. The more information you have about your family’s health history and how you can actually lower your risk of developing cancer, the more likely you are to avoid a cancer diagnosis or catch breast cancer in its early stages.
Early Detection Saves Lives
Understanding risk factors and managing your overall health are important steps women can take to stay healthy. But cancer awareness also involves understanding the importance of early detection. Finding breast cancer early, even invasive breast cancer can mean the difference between life and death.
Early detection means you must conduct self-exams regularly and speak to your doctor quickly about any irregularities you find. Most women know their bodies better than anyone else, and this is critical to detecting changes. It also means getting regular screenings such as mammograms.
When caught early, breast cancer often results in successful treatment.
Fundraising is Crucial to Breast Cancer Awareness, Research, and Support
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, organizations hold numerous events to promote awareness and knowledge about this most common cancer facing women.
Many organizations also encourage people to donate money to support breast cancer research. Tackling breast cancer requires more than just raising awareness. It requires continuous research on new treatments and ways to make the breast cancer journey easier for the millions of women who must face this dreadful disease.
This Month, Send Someone With Breast Cancer a Gift Box From Rock the Treatment
If someone you love has cancer, send them a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.