October has just started, and people from all over the world are gearing up for the fight against breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness Month gives us the opportunity to come together as an industry as we increase our awareness of this devastating disease. It’s not just about raising funds, it’s also about helping women and men feel more empowered through self-education, so they can take control of this disease before it spreads to other parts of their body.
Today marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an ongoing campaign that’s designed to save as many lives as possible, either through early detection, increasing access to treatment, and improving resources for caregivers. It all leads up to Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 31st.
While this campaign has become a worldwide event, the pandemic has disrupted the status quo in more ways than one. From virtual discussions to fundraisers, see what’s happening this month and help spread the word!
Why Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so Important
Researchers believe breast cancer has been around for thousands of years. The female breast has long been a symbol of beauty and finesse. Back in the day, providers relied on crude surgical tactics as a way of removing the cancer. We’ve come a long way since then, but we still have a long way to go in terms of eradicating this disease.
The fight against breast cancer has been going on for many years, yet the statistics are still very sobering. According to Nationalbreastcancer.org, which has gathered its data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization:
One of every eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. The most commonly diagnosed cancer in women is breast cancer. It’s also the second leading cause of death among women. Just under 253,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Out of the 253,000 women that are diagnosed, around 40,500 will pass away.
Breast cancer doesn’t affect women only. Because this disease is very rare in men, it is often overlooked. According to Nationalbreastcancer.org, it is estimated that breast cancer will be diagnosed in roughly 2,470 men, out of which close to 460 will pass away every year.
There Is Some Light at the End of the Tunnel
There has been a gradual decrease in breast cancer incidences in women aged 50 years and older. One possible reason could be due to the decline of hormone replacement therapy that had normally been prescribed after menopause. There has also been a decline in death rates from breast cancer, starting from 1990 until today. This decline has been partly due to an increased awareness of the disease that has been achieved through early detection by using more effective screening methods.
There are now more and greatly improved treatment options available as well. Breast Cancer Awareness Month has helped fuel this progress over the years, which is why we continue to honor this important day.
While breast cancer can’t currently be prevented, there are ways to help increase the chances of fighting the disease before it spreads to other areas of the body. This is done through early detection, which is implemented in three steps:
- Be aware of any potential symptoms.
- Conduct a self-exam once a month.
- Get a mammogram and clinical exam on a regular basis.
In the early stages, many breast cancer symptoms are not visible and can only be noticed through professional screening. However, through self-examination, it’s easier to identify certain changes in the breasts, and when combining this type of examination with an annual clinical breast exam, early detection becomes far more possible. This allows for more effective and less radical treatments to prevent cancer from spreading.
If you or someone close to you is battling with breast cancer and looking for support, click on the following links for more information:
Joining This Year’s Campaign
The coronavirus pandemic has forced this month’s campaign to be online. Instead of meeting up in person, providers, patients, and advocates will meet virtually with one another as they try to bring about lasting change.
Breast Cancer walks have become a popular fundraising tactic in years past, but that’s not possible this year. Cancer survivors should avoid meeting up in large groups until we have eradicated COVID-19. But you can still join a breast cancer walk online.
The Breast Cancer Virtual Fun Run starts today and runs until October 15th. You can run anywhere, so you don’t have to worry about meeting up in a large group.
Advocates say this year’s campaign will focus more on rebuilding the community as a whole after the destruction of the coronavirus pandemic. Funds will go towards basic medical care, food, housing, and other essential needs for those affected by the pandemic.
There is a lot that you can do during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Whether you take part in runs, walks, or any other challenge events to help raise funds, you will be doing your part in keeping the forward momentum strong. With companies around the nation who support the movement like this one, we can all come together and raise public awareness together.