We are at the end of October and as you all know it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please remind your mother, sister, aunt, niece or any female friend to get a mammogram. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. One out of every eight women will get breast cancer. Most women who develop breast cancer will not be able to pinpoint one specific cause.
Breast cancer charities work throughout October to increase awareness of the illness. Not only do they work hard year after year in search of a cure, but especially in October. Cancer charities take the month of October to really capture the attention of many people who may be unaware of the issue.
Where did Breast Cancer Awareness Month Start?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month was born in 1985. Thanks to The American of Family Physicians, AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation, Cancer Care Inc, and a few other sponsors. These sponsors were the first group to promote Breast Cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month has received notoriety from corporations branding and promoting the issue. One popular corporation is the NFL. Players chose to exchange the color of their usual uniforms to pink, as it represents breast cancer. The NFL decided to partner with the American Cancer Society in 2009, and since then the reputation of breast cancer has increased.
What is the Cause of Breast Cancer?
According to the National Breast Cancer organization, “women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer.” They are basically exuding that some women have an increased risk of getting it based on family heritage, which cannot be avoided.
However, avoiding alcohol, smoking, and poor eating habits could dramatically increase the odds of getting breast cancer. These are all choices of your control.
How to be more aware of Breast Cancer?
Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., however, it can be treated successfully.
Get to know the risk factors. Visit the breast cancer website to see the risks.
A few risks of getting breast cancer include:
- Being a woman – Simply being a woman, is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer.
- Age – Just like many other diseases, the risk of one getting it increases as one gets older.
- Family History – If you’ve had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. Understanding your history is key to beating breast cancer.
- Alcohol Consumption – Consistently research has shown that drinking alcoholic beverages, will increase the chance of getting breast cancer.
Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
Lifestyle habits that can help reduce your risk of breast cancer include:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Stay physically active
- Do not smoke
- Limit your alcohol consumption
Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and continually improving treatment options.
If you have an immediate relative with cancer, please talk to your doctor about getting screened earlier. Chances of survival are much great when it is detected earlier. So let’s be proactive in our health and not reactive.