In addition to the fun of Halloween, October is an important month for education as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer, accounting for just under 30% of all cancer cases. One of the most important steps we can take to reduce our risk is to learn more about the disease. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Home Care Assistance is going pink for the cause, showing our support and raising awareness by providing educational resources about early detection. Worldwide, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women. Starting in 2000, new incidences of breast cancer in the United States have been decreasing, with a noticeable 7% drop in cases between the years 2002 and 2003. These positive changes are the results of advances in treatment programs, earlier detection strategies and increased awareness around breast cancer worldwide. This is the exact reason behind why we want to share knowledge about early screening practices with you, so that you are aware of warning signs and best able to care for yourself.
Stay Safe, Get Screened
Early detection is key to successful treatment outcomes. In fact, 9 out of 10 women can survive breast cancer if it’s detected in its earliest stages. This is where regular screening tests, such as mammograms, come into play. Self-checks are important but are not enough; often lumps are noticed when they are large, meaning they have grown and possibly spread. A simple way to detect abnormal lumps in breast tissue is through monthly self-examinations. Many “how-to” guides are available online, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation provides an easy-to-follow video.
Not all organizations agree on the best age to start getting regular mammograms, although most recommend that women between 40 to 50 years old get an annual mammogram and clinical breast exam. It is a great idea to discuss options regarding detection methods with your doctor and at what age you should start scheduling regular mammograms and examinations.
Don’t Be Scared, Be Aware!
Raising awareness can be easy and fun! Wear pink and start a conversation—it can be as simple as sharing your knowledge of early screening methods with family and friends. Organize a fundraiser to help women gain access to screenings, or get creative and paint some pink pumpkins to celebrate Halloween and promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month simultaneously. Together, we can continue to spread hope and increase survival rates.