Breast Cancer Awareness: What You Need to Know

10 · 19 · 22
Breast cancer awareness

What is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?‍

Did you know that, in most cases, breast cancer is a very treatable disease? Did you know that it is the leading cause of cancer death for women under age 40? Did you know that the American Cancer Society estimates that this year nearly 266,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 will likely die from the disease? Did you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month? If you don’t know any of these things, don’t feel bad. The statistics on breast cancer are so staggering because there really hasn’t been much awareness about this common but potentially deadly disease until recently. There have been huge increases in funding, medical research, and clinical trial participation regarding breast cancer because of a greater understanding among those who are at risk. 

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual observance in October to increase awareness of the disease and funding to fight it. It was created in 1987 by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The goal is to increase awareness about breast health and breast cancer, as well as to encourage women to perform self-examinations to detect changes in their breasts. It also aims to encourage women to get a yearly mammogram after the age of 40. This month is a great time to host fundraising events and to donate to research and support groups like the ACS and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It’s also a great opportunity to talk to family and friends about the disease and how they can help prevent it. 

Why Is October Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, let’s find out why October is the designated month for breast cancer awareness. The month of October marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness campaigns. The month of October is the time when the American Cancer Society holds its annual fundraising campaign for breast cancer research. The month of October is also the time when pink ribbons are worn to show support for breast cancer patients. Pink is the color most associated with breast cancer awareness. October has been the designated month for breast cancer awareness since the 1990s. 

Research and Clinical Trials

The only way to eradicate this disease is through research. Clinical trials are important to the process because they allow researchers to test new approaches and drugs that may be more effective than the current standard of care. But what can you do to help? – Get Involved – If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, your first step is to get educated. This can be done by visiting clinicaltrials.gov. Here you can search by disease, drug, and location to find clinical trials near you. – Volunteer – If you are not interested in participating in a clinical trial, you can still help by volunteering to help others as they go through the process. There are many organizations that rely on volunteers to help keep clinical trials running smoothly. – Join the Conversation – One way to help support clinical trials is to engage others in the conversation. Talk with friends and family about the importance of clinical trials, and the impact they can have on people’s lives. Share your story, and others will follow suit. 

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and is estimated to affect 1 in 8 women at some point during their lives. While survival rates have increased significantly in recent decades thanks to earlier detection and improved treatment options, the disease remains a major public health concern. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Women aged 40 and older should be familiar with their risk factors and know how to perform regular self-examinations to detect changes in their breasts. Women are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer if they have a family history of the disease, have been diagnosed with an abnormal breast biopsy, or have gone through menopause. 

Conclusion

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is a very treatable disease. Early detection is key to survival. This October, wear pink, eat healthily, and sign up for your annual tests! We need to make sure that every woman knows to check her breasts each month and to call a doctor immediately if something seems suspicious. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all year round, we must remind ourselves that breast cancer is a serious disease that affects millions of people each year. We must be aware that it can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender.

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Author

Dr. Carolyn Gochee