One in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lives. But if the disease is caught early, the chances of surviving it are greatly increased. October is breast cancer awareness month, and it’s a good time to learn more about this disease.
Self-Screening for Breast Cancer
One of the most effective steps people can take to detect breast cancer early is to perform regular self-screenings. You perform a self-screen by palpating gently around the breast and circling in several different directions. (There are full instructions available online.)
Breast cancer self-screenings take just a few minutes to do. As you perform them, you’ll become familiar with any natural lumps or firmnesses in your breasts. If you find any unusual changes to your breast, you’ll be able to bring your concerns to your doctor.
Mammograms are X-rays that model several layers of the breast. It may be performed by an X-ray technician at your normal hospital, or you may want to go to a specialized facility to get it done.
A mammogram is a simple procedure and only takes about 20 minutes. Experts recommend one mammogram every two years for all women ages 50 through 74. If you’re at high risk for breast cancer or if doctors have discovered lumps in your breasts before, they may recommend getting a mammogram more frequently.
Fundraising and Nonprofits
One of the most powerful ways you can fight against breast cancer is to raise money. There are several reputable breast cancer charities which work to support patients and their families, while they fund research for a cure. One such non-profit is our client, the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, whose mission is to achieve a future free of breast cancer by engaging the public and the scientific communities in innovative research. Every October sees many opportunities for people like you to support these charities and help further their goals.
One area of hot controversy in the world of breast cancer activism is what’s called “pinkwashing”. Be aware that while many companies sell pink-colored items every October, not every company donates the proceeds from these items toward breast cancer charities. And for those that do, the amount of money that goes toward breast cancer activism is often minimal. If you want to support the fight against breast cancer, it’s generally best to donate directly to a charitable cause.
Breast cancer can be a devastating illness, for both patients and their loved ones. But when the disease is caught early, whether through self-screenings or mammograms, the chance of survival is much higher. And by supporting non-profits and research institutions, you can take important steps toward a cure.
Rip Media Group teamed up with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation to create a series of educational videos called, “ImPatient Science.” To learn more about breast cancer and the topics covered in this post, please visit: https://www.drsusanloveresearch.org