October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A few stats about breast cancer – Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women and about 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history. Now the promising news – regular self exams can save your life, and a new study shows that breast self exams can lower the death risk for women in their 40s. Today 76% of women with breast cancer have a survival rate of 10 or more years. But we still have a long way to go. Here are 6 ways you can help yourself and others in the fight against breast cancer.
1. Cancer knows no geographic boundaries – Pink Ribbon International helps create worldwide awareness for breast cancer and provides information, resources and support for patients, caregivers, family and providers. In an effort to spread the word, The Pink Ribbon blog encourages entries from those impacted by breast cancer. As a welcome present to new blog participants, they’re randomly giving away Pink Ribbon International Mugs to blog participants. But you don’t have to be a blog entrant to get one. Visit their online store to purchase Pink Ribbon International products and donate to a worthy cause. (Image: The Pink Ribbon International Mug)
2. Visit The Susan G. Kolman Breast Self Awareness Card (BSE) link to download a free breast self exam reminder card. This handy card includes a checklist and step-by-step instructions on how to perform a breast self-examination. Click here for non-English downloads and for downloads which contain expanded information for various ethnic groups.
3. Click to give free mammograms – While the healthcare debate rages on, thousands of women – and men – around the country don’t have access to potentially life-saving mammograms. The Breast Cancer Site helps you help them. When you visit their site and click the pink “Click Here” button, the site’s sponsors pay for women to get free mammograms. 100% of sponsor money goes to charity. So click, click, click away!
4. 2 days, 39 miles, thousands of lives – The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer raises money “to provide women and men the breast cancer screening, support and treatment they need regardless of their ability to pay.” This year’s remaining walk cities include New York and Charlotte. Walks in 2011 include Houston, Chicago and San Francisco. Visit this link to receive additional information and a free brochure.
5. Beyond the Shock – Whether you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, have a loved one who has or just want to know more, The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s Beyond the Shock® is an informative 3-D video presentation created by physicians. Watch Beyond the Shock® here.
6. Too important to skip – Although this is Five for Friday, this information was too important to save for another day. For those without health insurace, the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides access to breast and cervical cancer screening services to underserved women in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 U.S. territories, and 12 tribes. Click here to find your local program.
If you’ve been personally impacted by breast cancer, or have a loved one who has, and would like to share your story, email Women at Forty at firstname.lastname@example.org. And help spread awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by clicking any one of the “share and enjoy” buttons below this post.