October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Each year it is estimated that over 246,660 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. However, early detection is key to helping women survive breast cancer. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a campaign to raise breast cancer awareness and to inform women about the importance of getting screened for breast cancer.
Every October since 1985, organizations, medical associations, communities, and government agencies all come together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information about the disease and offer greater access to services. Although a lot of progress has been made, there is still a long way to go and the message must be spread year round as well.
National Breast Cancer Foundation
The mission of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (@NBCF) is “to help women now by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.” NBCF offers a number of programs, services, and useful tools for women and their families facing a breast cancer diagnosis. One of these programs provides those who may be struggling financially access to mammograms. With insurance costs and the number of uninsured women rising, many women simply cannot afford costly screening tests. NBCF is determined to help women take advantage of the benefits of early detection so they provide free mammograms in all 50 states.
While the importance of early detection is one of their main messages, NBCF also strives to help educate and provide hope for those who have been diagnosed. Beyond the Shock is a free app and online guide to understanding breast cancer. It is a resource that can be used by not only by those with breast cancer but by their friends and family as well. Beyond the Shock offers information about the disease, answers any questions one might have, and provides stories of hope along with a supportive community.
The Best Breast Cancer Apps of 2016
Speaking of great apps, there are a number of them out there, many of which are free, to help you navigate the onslaught of information and advice you will receive once diagnosed. Healthline (@healthline) has done the work you by evaluating these apps “based on their usability, frequent updates, and overall impact in offering support to people impacted by breast cancer.” Beyond the Shock and Early Detection Plan: Breast Cancer are two from NBCF that made the list.
Each of us can help the cause during Breast Cancer Awareness Month either in small ways or big. Healthfinder.gov provides plenty of resources to help you spread the word, everything from media release outlines, sample tweets, and E-cards to web badges for your website, blog or social media profile. Of course, if you feel moved to do more you can always host a fundraiser of your own in real life or virtually. NBCF has an ample amount of resources that will guide you from start to finish in the creation of your fundraiser. They even laid out the steps for you to hold your own VRace either solo or with your company or group. Finally, even if you feel crunched for time or don’t have the energy to devote to an undertaking such as a fundraiser or Vrace, you can still greatly help the cause by simply making a donation. Every amount helps but if you’d like to know exactly how your money helps, a $100 donation helps provide a mammogram to a woman in need.
This is just a sampling of what you can do to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Be on the lookout in your community this month for events near you.