Top 10 Things to Do for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
October 16, 2012
Filed Under Holidays
Contributed by Info Guru Aurora LaJambre
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, an ideal time to raise awareness and educate yourself on how to be more proactive about your health.
According to the Center for Disease Control, this is one of the most common cancers among women.
Raising awareness is important, but it takes action to make a difference. Here are the top ten things to do to join the fight.
10. Educate Yourself
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is one organization behind the huge October awareness campaign. The website offers a comprehensive directory on partner organizations that offer the latest news in prevention and medical research. Take time throughout the month to read and learn more about how to protect yourself.
9. Drink Less Alcohol
Genetics aren’t the only risk factor for this disease. Studies also show drinking more than one glass of alcohol a day makes a woman 1 ½ times more likely to develop this illness and other forms of cancer than women who don’t. Skip that extra glass of wine and flood your body with the enzymes and phytonutrients by drinking a green juice instead.
8. Family History
Some risk factors cannot be changed – age, sex and race to name a few. However, if your family history is vague, do a little research to fill in the blanks. Make a detailed list of anyone in your family who had the disease and have your doctor test you for genetic mutations known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. An article on BreastCancer.org states that 5-10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary.
Studies show that certain forms of contraception increase your risk. If you’re on the pill or thinking about getting on it, ask your doctor about the risks and possible alternatives. DMP, an injected form of contraception administered every 3 months, is also known to increase the risk for women currently on the drug.
6. Exercise More
While obesity is a risk factor, studies aimed at linking diet to risk have so far produced conflicting results. However, evidence that regular exercise will lower your risk is mounting. One study showed that just two hours a week of vigorous walking lowers risk by about 18%. Kick off a new fitness routine by joining an awareness walk. You may even meet a new walking buddy.
Do research before donating money to the first person who tries to sell you a pink ribbon. Think about where you want your funds to really go. Consider donating to the groups that help low-income women get mammograms, for instance.
Reach out to the foundation you support and offer to volunteer your time and skills. They may need extra hands at a community event or help with a mailing. Local treatment centers welcome company for patients currently in treatment. Your presence and words of encouragement can make a huge difference in a stranger’s life.
3. Be There
Breast cancer awareness month focuses on women, but men can get it, too. It not only affects the patients, but their family and entire circle of friends. All it takes is a few words of comfort or kind greeting card to show your support to the people who need it most.
2. Take a Loved One to the Doctor
The fight against breast cancer starts with prevention and detection, which means going to the doctor. It may surprise you to learn how many people you know are terrified of going to the doctor alone, or feel they can’t afford it if they don’t have health insurance. If you know someone who needs financial assistance, call the American Breast Cancer Foundation’s Key to Life Program. If someone hasn’t gone, offer to take her. Then celebrate life over a nutritious meal.
1. Get a Mammogram
Doctors strongly encourage every woman over 40 to have a mammogram every year. Call your doctor today and make an appointment while it’s on your mind. If you notice a lump on your breast between annual screenings, get yourself to the doctor without delay. Be your own hero year round!