October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, as you may already be aware. The month has been set aside to make everyone aware, and I think by now we well and truly are. When the NFL has its players in pink gloves, awareness isn’t our biggest issue.
Now that we’re aware, what do we do with it? Here are some great ways you can make a difference this Breast Cancer Awareness month if pink isn’t your color.
The American Cancer Society has great resources on how to perform a breast self-exam to assess breast health, as well as other valuable information. Did you know that women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have had breast implants can all perform successful breast self-exams? The ACS also includes a printable format, so you can distribute flyers at any Pinktober events. Print out a stack and leave them in the women’s room at work or the locker room at your gym — educating those around you is one of the best ways to stop breast cancer.
Awareness of women’s health
Take some time out of October to raise the awareness of other diseases that affect women but don’t get as much attention, such as ovarian and cervical cancer. It’s easy for a company to print “Save the Ta-Tas” on a cute top, but some of our other organs are harder to market. Don’t forget the beautiful, strong women behind the boobies. Encourage the women in your life to take this month to get caught up on checkups and any other treatments or screenings while they’re booking their mammograms.
Think local and donate wisely
If you’re willing to spend $30 on a cute tote with a pink ribbon, think critically about what else you could do with that money. Not all of your money goes where you want it to go when you’re buying pink. A really unfortunate and heavy truth about cancer is that there are a lot of people who are currently suffering financially through treatment or even past treatment. They and their families need your help with bills, support and quality of life. The American Cancer Society offers a search engine on its site allowing cancer patients to find support and assistance in their area. You can utilize this service to find out how you can help struggling families in your area. Many families set up private fundraisers and donations to assist with bills and other associated costs, and your $30 will go a lot farther to help them.
Health editor, Tini Howard is a writer, aerialist and foodie from the East Coast.