October Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How to Participate
October marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month—the time to honor and raise awareness for breast cancer patients and survivors who continue the fight to end the disease. With so many walks, runs, and fundraisers throughout the month, it can be hard to know where to start or how to get involved. Here are a few things to keep in mind to support breast cancer awareness this month from B-Six.
When should I start screening for breast cancer?
First things first: it’s important to know when you, your loved ones, or your friends should get screened. According to the American Cancer Society, women aged 40 to 44 can begin receiving annual breast cancer screenings. From 45 to 54, a mammogram should be conducted once a year and after 55, can be reduced to once every two years.
However, women with a family history of breast cancer are considered to be at higher risk for this cancer. They should receive a clinical breast exam every six months and an annual mammogram ten years prior to the age of the earliest diagnosis of a family member. This should begin no later than 40 and no earlier than 25.
Is there a link between breast cancer and bras? Are there any bra alternatives?
Thankfully, no! That’s why we have Breast Cancer Awareness Month to learn more and educate ourselves on the disease. For example, many women believe there is a link between breast cancer and bras. A 2014 study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found no association between breast cancer risk and wearing a bra. Thanks to scientific researchers, you’re safe to wear any bra at any cup size. Myth, busted.
If you’re still not convinced and want a bra alternative, we’ve got you covered with the comfort and support of a pair of Nippies Skin nipple covers.
Now that you’ve got the lowdown on some breast cancer facts, here are some ways you can participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Why wear pink for breast cancer?
Friday, October 22nd is this year’s Wear Pink Day. People wear a pink ribbon or clothing to honor survivors and support the battle to defeat breast cancer. So put on a pink shirt, rock pink shoes, or wear a pink ribbon to show your support for a great cause!
What are some organizations that raise awareness for breast cancer or support breast cancer patients?
There are plenty of organizations that promote breast cancer awareness, fund research, or offer services that assist breast cancer patients. Here are a few we recommend:
1. United Breast Cancer Foundation
- This breast cancer foundation supports both breast cancer survivors and patients through individual grants, holistic treatment, offering free or low-cost screenings, fundraising, and more. Here are some ways to get involved with UBCF.
2. National Breast Cancer Foundation
- The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers free screenings and diagnostics, weekend retreats for patients with metastatic breast cancer, support groups, and resources and education for families and patients. Show your support by sponsoring a HOPE Kit for a breast cancer patient, making a donation, volunteering, or joining a fundraiser here.
3. Breast Cancer Research Foundation
- BCRF primarily focuses on breast cancer research, offering grants to researchers with promising ideas on everything from treatment and prevention to heredity and survivorship. Donations to the foundation fund these research initiatives. You can also support by creating your own fundraiser, attending an event, and more.
4. Pink Ribbon Girls
- Pink Ribbon Girls gives direct support to breast cancer patients by delivering healthy, prepared meals to their doorstep, assisting with house cleaning, offering rides to treatment, and providing virtual peer support with events, programs, and education. Find out how you can support women in need by visiting their website.
How can I participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
There are several ways to contribute to the breast cancer cause:
1. Educate yourself and others.
- Early detection is often critical in fighting breast cancer. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, do what you can to educate yourself and your loved ones about breast cancer screenings, when to get them, and how to do self breast exams.
2. Support a breast cancer patient.
- Helping someone you know (or a stranger!) with breast cancer is one of the best ways you can make a lasting impact that goes beyond October. Organizing meal deliveries, giving rides to treatment centers, volunteering at a hospital near you, or even doing small tasks for them are ways you can help someone in need.
3. Donate to research initiatives.
- Research is extremely important in finding the cure for breast cancer. They are also instrumental in finding new treatments and prevention methods. Organizations such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation are great places to donate to this month.
4. Participate in a walk or run.
- The Susan G. Komen for the Cure is one of the most notable (and successful) breast cancer educators and fundraisers in the world. Their Race for the Cure series of 5k races and walks fund breast cancer research. These events are an excellent way to participate in the cause.
5. Use your money wisely.
- While several organizations and brands support the cause for breast cancer, some companies care more about their bottom line than the impacts of this serious disease. Before opening your wallet, do your research on to whom or where your money is going. When shopping, question what percentage of the proceeds go to charity and to what charity they go to.
6. Wear pink.
- A pink ribbon is recognized worldwide as the symbol for breast cancer. Wearing a ribbon is an easy way to show moral support for breast cancer patients and survivors. You can go the extra mile and create your own pink ribbon or wear a pink outfit, shoes, hat, nails, or jewelry!
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the perfect time to look beyond yourself and support women and men in need of care, community, and action. Whether you make a donation, participate in a walk or run, or simply wear a pink ribbon, you can make a positive impact for others this month.
Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Regardless of age, you can regularly check your breasts by performing at-home screenings. Here’s how to do a self breast exam. Get a mammogram when the proper time comes and stay up to date with them. Your health is important and B-Six is here for you during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and beyond.
Contributing Writer: Hillary Cormier