October is breast cancer awareness month. NFL players wear pink shoes at least they have in the past. Some cities hold races, but I think the most important think is to bring awareness to the masses.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So many people who are dear to me has passed due to breast cancer my mom being the most signifiant one. October 27, 2008, I watched my mom breath her last breathe.
Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence breast cancer risk according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can’t change some factors, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways—
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptive (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
- Breastfeed if possible
- If you have a family history of breast cancer it may be a good ideal to get a BRCA test.
- Screening for breast cancer can seem scary, but the sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated and the better chance for survival. Ages 25-39, talk with your health care professional at least once every year for risk assessment, risk reduction counseling and a clinical breast exam. At age 40, begin getting mammograms unless you have a family history of breast cancer. I started mammograms at age 35 due to my family history.
- Check yourself regularly- know your body so you know when it’s changing. Between regular screenings or exams, pay attention for the following:
- A lump, hard knot or thickening in the breast
- A lump under your arm
- A change in the size or shape of a breast
- Nipple pain, tenderness or discharge, including bleeding
- Itchiness, scales, soreness or rash on the nipple
- A nipple turning inward or inverted
- A change in color and texture (dimpling, puckering or redness)
- A breast that feels warm or swollen
The American Institute of Philanthropy’s Charity Watch cites 12 organizations as the top-rated cancer charities and of those there are three on the list that focus specifically on breast cancer prevention and research. If you are interested in donating to breast cancer research, please consider the following. I also have been heavily involved with Susan G Komen actually one of the first races I ever ran but they get a C rating due to heavy administration cost.
- Mission: To prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.
- Rating: A+
- Program percentage (percentage of its cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead): 90%
- Cost to raise $100 (How many dollars a charity spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions): $7
- Mission: To end breast cancer; has set a deadline to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020.
- Rating: A
- Program percentage: 83%
- Cost to raise $100: $13
Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (formerly Breast Cancer Fund)
- Mission: Working to prevent breast cancer by eliminating exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.
- Rating: A-
- Program percentage: 77%
- Cost to raise $100: $13
Together we can beat breast cancer!!!