You may have noticed a lot of pink ribbons lately hanging at local businesses, on people’s t-shirts or stuck on the back of a passing Subaru. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. Out of every 8 women born into the United States, 1 will have breast cancer at some point in their life. With the right precautions and yearly check-ups with a doctor, many women can survive breast cancer if it is found and treated. The best way to be checked for breast cancer is to schedule a yearly mammogram. Once women reach 40, most doctors recommend they start getting their yearly mammogram. If you are not sure of when you should start being tested, talk to your doctor or nurse to figure out when is the right time to begin screening.
As a woman, I think it is very important to get involved to bring awareness of this disease to other women in my life. For October, and all year round, make sure to encourage those women in your life to get checked and support your friends and family who may have the disease. Below is breast cancer screening recommendations as found on the Susan G. Komen website, one of the leading breast cancer fundraising organizations in the country:
1. Know your risk:
- Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
- Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer
2. Get screened:
- Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk
- Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
- Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40
3. Know what is normal for you and see your health care provider right away if you notice breast changes:
- Lump, hard knot or thickening
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Add exercise into your routine
- Limit alcohol intake
Below is a list of activities this month around Denver that you and your family can get involved in to help support and invest in science to find cures.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer – Oct. 11th Greenwood Village, CO - Join the American Cancer Society in making strides against breast cancer. This yearly event is described as a celebration of survivorship and an occasion to express hope and offer support on finding cures.
Bright Pink October Outreach – Oct. 20th Denver CO - Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Join them for their pumpkin carving outreach on Oct. 20th for an evening of sharing, friendship and discovery.
Pink Tie Affair – Nov. 7th Denver, CO - Pink Tie Guys serve as representatives aimed at engaging men in the breast cancer movement and encouraging them to get involved any way they can. There are seven of them who represent one in seven women in Colorado will battle breast cancer within their lifetime. Come eat, dance and listen to some incredible stories on this night to help raise money for finding breast cancer cures.
Wear your pink this month, encourage the women in your life to get tested and get involved with the many breast cancer awareness activities to help support finding cures for this disease.