This time of year is unlike any other. The leaves are almost finished falling, the kids are excited about trick-or-treating, and hearty meals like soups and stews are making their way to the dinner table. At the moment, I’m looking forward to the end of raking leaves, counting how many Disney princesses ring my doorbell October 31st, and having honest, genuine conversations about breast cancer.
Now, I know one of those things might stand out from the others, but to me, October is just as much about breast cancer awareness as it is about anything else. When I feel the weather change and the air turn crisp, I know women everywhere are about to take time to focus on their own health and well-being – something I hope for all year long.
Raise Your Breast Cancer Awareness
Take a moment to imagine the last time you were in a group of (mostly) women. Whether you were at an event, workout class, or even something work-related, consider this: One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Anytime you can count more than eight women in one place, you can visualize breast cancer’s reach.
As the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, breast cancer cannot be ignored. Globally, one woman dies of breast cancer every 13 minutes. While breast cancer awareness is oftentimes thought of as “a woman’s issue,” men are not immune to this disease. Although less common in men, breast cancer is a real danger for both men and women.
October, Awareness, and the Pink Ribbon
Perhaps the most constant symbol associated with breast cancer is the pink ribbon. The pink ribbon first became the symbol of breast cancer awareness in 1991, when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to those participating in their New York City race for breast cancer survivors. From that point onward, a pink ribbon has grown to be an unwavering symbol of awareness.
Breast Cancer Awareness, All Year Long
The month of October will always be near and dear to my heart. It’s a time when women are encouraged to put themselves first, which in today’s busy world is less and less common. However, it’s important that we women take care of ourselves so we can better care for those around us.
All month long, you’ll see conversations focused on women’s health and organizations fighting to keep this disease top of mind. Since I’ve barely covered the tip of the iceberg today, I want to leave you with a few trustworthy resources to continue growing your awareness:
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation
- The American Cancer Society
Within these sources you’ll find FAQs, survivor stories, research data, opportunities to contribute, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment information, and my personal favorite, early detection. Breast cancer can be treatable and beatable, especially when it’s detected early. Who knows, something you read might save a life one day.