Each fall, as the leaves change colors to display their graceful beauty, we dedicate a month to those individuals who demonstrate grace and strength in their fight against breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time when we remember the friends and loved ones who have been affected by this cancer, and a time when each of us should consider how we can take small steps in the fight against breast cancer. This fall, may we all be emboldened to advocate for the health of the roughly 200,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
The screening mammogram is the first line of defense in the fight against breast cancer. This test can help detect cancer in the earlier stages of the disease when treatments have a higher probability for achieving a cure. Most women should begin annual mammograms at age 40, with the option to switch to every 2 years at age 55. It is important to remember that older age is not a reason in and of itself to quit screening mammograms. As long as a woman is in good health, she should discuss the risks and benefits of breast cancer screening with her doctor despite her numerical age. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced world, women can sometimes fall behind on appointments and miss a scheduled mammogram. This October, take a moment to talk with those close to you, or share an informative post on Facebook or Twitter and ask, “Is it time for your mammogram?”
Women fighting against breast cancer are supported by a myriad of great organizations that advance research and deliver services to those in need. While there are many large organizations who need support for the important work they are doing, sometimes it can be extremely meaningful to connect with a smaller organization with a specific purpose. Here are just a few organizations helping women in direct and tangible ways. These and other resources can be found on the website Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
LympheDIVAs create medically correct compression apparel for women with post-breast cancer lymphedema. The founders want to inspire women cancer survivors to feel beautiful, strong and confident.
Founded in 2012 in Bethesda, MD, Lolly’s Locks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high-quality wigs to cancer patients suffering hair loss as a side-effect of chemotherapy.
The Pink Fund
The mission of The Pink Fund is to provide short-term financial aid to breast cancer patients in active treatment. The Pink Fund will make a direct bill payment for the maintenance of health insurance premiums and non-medical bills such as, a house or rent payment, a car or vehicle lease payment, utility payments, car insurance payments, and/or license plate tabs.
The scope of breast cancer is staggering. Each of us knows someone who has had their life forever altered because of this disease. And yet, in the face of uncertainty and fear, we have seen friends and loved ones live with resilience and courage. This October, let’s remember those affected by breast cancer, spread the word about the importance of cancer screening, and support the organizations making a difference in the lives of these women.
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