One of the most important things a woman should be sure to include in her medical care is breast cancer prevention. That’s why October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when doctors, government agencies and organizations collaborate to raise awareness about cancer and promote access to health care for both young women and seniors.
The awareness month was initiated more than 25 years ago. The campaign has been involved in keeping the issue in the public’s eye, promoting and tracking research and empowering women to learn all they can about this important health care issue. Partners in the mission include major health organizations, such as American Cancer Society, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, CancerCare, National Medical Association and many more.
This is a good time to remind women of the importance of doing their own breast check each month and of getting mammograms when appropriate. The National Cancer Institute recommends women 40 and older getting a mammogram every one to two years. Those with a higher risk of the cancer because of family history or other genetic risks are advised to ask their doctors about starting mammograms earlier.
The month is often recognized in some communities by fundraisers, races and other gatherings as a way to promote awareness and raise donations for research or local cancer care. What’s more, many merchants participate in the Pink Ribbon Campaign, selling products with the pink ribbon logo and donating a portion of the profit to cancer research.
About The Disease
Experts say one in eight women will be diagnosed with the cancer in her lifetime. The good news is that with early diagnosis and improved treatment options from ongoing research, many cancer patients are living longer or beating the disease altogether.
To find out about events marking the month in your community, contact your local office of the American Cancer Society or check the, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer website, where you can search by location and date. If your community is not planning an activity, see how you can get involved to organize a fundraiser and raise awareness in your area.
Finally, remember that cancer awareness and care is something that should be ongoing throughout the year. Remind seniors in your community about how early diagnosis can make all the difference.
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