What does October mean to you?
In 2016, almost every day, week, or month has some sort of theme attached to it, such as “National Pet Peeve Week” or “Worldwide Homemade Cookies Day.” Some represent a silly activity, but October’s theme is much more important than that! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Do you know or love at least eight women? If so, you may be shocked to find out that, statistically, one of them will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. The Odyssey mentions that even though it is the second most common cancer among women, there is a 95% survival rate. But there is a catch; you have to detect it within its first stage. Closely monitoring your health is very achievable, it just requires awareness!
What Should I Do?
In a perfect world, women should get screened every three years starting when they are twenty. However, women who are 40-45, or older, are more at risk and should have a mammogram once per year, every year. Other risk factors can be family history, genetic history, and even menstrual patterns. As it turns out, Cancer Care says that the later you have kids, the higher your chance of developing cancer.
Life happens! There are aspect of your life you simply cannot control, but there are ones you can. Cancer.org says to get regular, intentional physical activity. To help reduce your risk of breast cancer, it is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensive activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensive activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.
Reduce your lifetime weight gain by limiting your calories and getting regular physical activity. Additionally, avoid or limit your alcohol intake. The American Cancer Society recommends that women have no more than 1 alcoholic drink per day.
Where do we stand today?
Today, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the United States. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment. Working together with countless breast cancer research and support organizations, there is no shortage of strong men and women to stand by you all along the way. The great news is that our efforts are paying off; just in the last five months, we have made big breakthroughs in research. From finding safer forms of immunotherapy to studying the nature of genes, we are one step closer to a cure!
Depending on the amount of your personal exposure with breast cancer, either through fighting firsthand or supporting a loved one, this month may incite a variety of emotions: grief, strength, survival, or inspiration to educate and prevent. One of Nekdoodle’s principles is to save lives by promoting education of water safety, and the Breast Cancer Foundation’s mission statement is also to save lives by increasing awareness and early detection. Since we share a common passion for saving lives, it is not surprising to see that we are both taking action in October. But just rooting for them is not enough, and that is why we are giving a piece of ourselves by donating 10% of the funds from each pink Nekdoodle® to Bright Pink.
Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Their vision is of a world in which fewer people die from breast and ovarian cancer. By educating and inspiring women to move from awareness to action, we can make practicing risk reduction and early detection part of a proactive lifestyle.