Welcome back, lingerie lovers!
As you probably already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Month. It can be easy to get lost in the sea of pink ribbons, bracelets, shirts & accessories, but before you do, let’s talk about what all the pink represents, and how you can get inspired and involved!
What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
BCA Month is a wonderful time of year because it brings to everyone’s attention a disease that affects 1 in 9 women and claims the lives of 1 in 29 of our loved ones, accounting for 16% of women’s cancers. Though everyone should be paying attention year round, this month makes women aware of the need to take responsibility for our health, and pay attention to our breasts (as opposed to men doing all the work) and learn how to examine our breasts often and regularly, so we can recognize the moment anything seems unusual. When detected early (Stage I), the survival rate approaches 88%. Early detection is a key cornerstone in any campaign raising awareness for breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, so prevention is of utmost importance. Breast self-exams are great but do not replace regular mammograms and doctor’s visits. Mammography screening is the only screening method that has proven to be effective.
How do I conduct a self breast exam?
Take a look at this Breast Self-Examination to see how to properly self-examine your breasts every month, and be aware of how your breasts normally look and feel (so you can easily detect any changes).
I found a lump in my breast. Does that mean I have breast cancer?
If you feel a lump in your breast, or find any of these signs, contact your medical practitioner for follow-up. Don’t ignore any of the warning signs or procrastinate – when detected at its onset, breast cancer can be treatable in nearly 93% of cases. Most breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous) abnormal growths in the breast that are not life-threatening and do not spread. However, a benign tumour may increase your risk of getting breast cancer.
Why wear pink?
Wearing pink shows your moral support for survivors, whether they are family, friends, friends of friends, the sweet lady who runs the local bakery, or that woman who inspired you with her blog about her own personal battle. Anyone can (and should) wear pink! You can even get your pet involved for extra impact (and serious added cute factor).
Can men be diagnosed with breast cancer?
We often associate breast cancer with women, but the truth is that men can be diagnosed with breast cancer as well. Men have breast tissue just like we do, and can develop breast cancer – even though it’s rare, and accounts only for about 1% of all breast cancers.
Who is a breast cancer survivor?
Anyone who is living with breast cancer, no matter what stage, whether recently diagnosed, in treatment or in remission, pre-mastectomy or post-mastectomy.
I just got diagnosed with breast cancer. How can I cope?
It’s normal to feel anxious, but before you panic completely, here are some facts and advice:
–The earlier the cancer is detected, the better the survival rate. There is a 93% survival rate for women in the earliest stage of breast cancer. Survival rates vary greatly worldwide, but are improving with increased early detection and more effective treatments.
–There are various treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, and many others.
You have the courage to fight this!
Read some of these inspiring blogs and stories from survivors:
How can I get involved?
You don’t have to run a marathon, shave your head or wear pink every day in October to get involved in BCA Month – although all those things are wonderful too! The great thing is you can commit however much energy you want to the cause. Even the little things can help – sharing resources and inspiring stories with your friends on social media, encouraging your friends and family who have decided to run or walk for the cure, baking a few cupcakes for a local bake sale to help raise some extra money to donate. Anything goes – no contribution is too little.
Where Can Breast Cancer Survivors and Their Loved Ones Find Support?
There are many Breast Cancer Support groups, like Breast Cancer Support Services, who provide comfort and support to women living with breast cancer and their families. They offer programs and services to help cope with the stress of their treatments, and can help make the breast cancer journey less frightening and confusing.
Show your support in your favorite shade of pink, when you’re at home or out and about!
Breast Cancer Survival rates:
How to Conduct a Breast Self Exam:
Breast Cancer Prevention and Control
Breast Cancer Support:
Breast Cancer Inspiring Blogs: