US Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the US, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. On Thursday, October 29th we are encouraging our Alfa colleagues to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness by wearing pink to work (your home office)!
The pink ribbon represents breast cancer awareness, hope for the future, and the charitable goodness of people and businesses who publicly support the breast cancer movement. It is intended to evoke solidarity with women who currently have breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in the United States, though a breast cancer diagnosis is not limited to only women. However, it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for women all over the world.
Preventative Screenings: Women whose breast cancer is detected at an early stage have a 93% or higher survival rate in the first five years. Breast cancer typically has no symptoms when the tumor is small and most easily treated, which is why screening is important for early detection.
A mammogram can find breast cancer before it can be felt. While it is the best screening tool, it is not perfect. When mammography is combined with clinical breast exams and breast self-exams, your chances for finding cancer are even greater. Talk with your doctor about what screening option is right for you!
Preventative Measures: While there is no way to “prevent” breast cancer from occurring, there are many things women (and men) can do for their health to help lower their risk of developing the disease.
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- BRCA Screening
- Limiting alcohol and tobacco use
- Limiting exposure to environmental factors (radiation/chemicals/pollutants)
Breast cancer is very rare in men. The lifetime risk of a man getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. Because this is such a rare disease in men, mammograms and screenings are not usually recommended, which is why it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Read more about signs and symptoms in men.
Breast Cancer death rates among women declined 40% from 1989 to 2016. The progress is attributed to improvements in early detection.
Despite the high numbers of diagnosed patients every year, it is important to acknowledge that the 83% of women diagnosed SURVIVE and WIN the fight against this disease. Today, there are over three million breast cancer survivors in the United States. By raising awareness, we can help create a world full of survivors.
Ways to help:
- Make a donation to the MANY breast cancer awareness programs that helps raise funds for research into its origin, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care, education resources and support! (e.g. National Breast Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen, Living Beyond Breast Cancer).
- Pack Hope Kits: HOPE Kits are a tangible expression of hope given to women in treatment for breast cancer.
- Pack Breast Health Kits: given to guests attending community outreach events. Part awareness, part educational, these kits empower women to take control of their breast health and reach out to NBCF with any questions they have.
- Write Encouragement Cards: These cards are delivered in HOPE Kits to women facing breast cancer all across the country. See some tips and guidelines.
- Race/Walk: Raises significant funds and awareness for the breast cancer movement, celebrates breast cancer survivorship and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease.
Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2019-2020: https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/breast-cancer-facts-and-figures/breast-cancer-facts-and-figures-2019-2020.pdf
Carol Milgard Breast Center: https://www.carolmilgardbreastcenter.org/breast-cancer
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.: https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/