With over 334,000 new cases of breast cancer in the United States each year, it seems as if everyone knows someone affected by this disease. Throughout October, internationally recognized as breast cancer awareness month, millions of people get involved with bringing awareness to this disease. Getting involved may seem overwhelming but showing support for breast cancer patients and survivors is actually easier than one may think.
1. Wear pink
The pink ribbon is an international symbol for breast cancer. Wearing a pink ribbon, or a pink outfit, is a simple way to express moral support for those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Showing support all of the time is great, but there is a national initiative to wear pink for breast cancer on the 18th of October. Get a pink outfit ready and encourage friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors to do the same!
2. Help a cancer patient
Sometimes asking for help can be hard. For those who know someone battling breast cancer, find a way to make their life easier without them asking. Whether it is offering to walk their dog, drive them to their doctor’s appointment, or preparing frozen meals, simple acts can make a huge difference.
Also, many chemo wards even take donations of clothing, scarves, and hats for patients. Reach out to local organizations to see what good or services would benefit the community.
3. Educate yourself (and others)
Anyone can be affected by cancer. In fact, the majority of patients never expected to receive a cancer diagnosis until it happened. Knowing one’s risks of developing cancer can aid in early detection, which makes the cancer easier to treat. Spread awareness by telling friends and family who should be getting mammograms, who is at risk, and how to check breasts for abnormalities. The more educated society is, the greater defense there is against cancer.
4. Spend wisely
A lot of organizations get on board to promote breast cancer awareness in October. Unfortunately, some companies only see this as a marketing opportunity. Before buying from a retailer that claims to support breast cancer initiatives, be sure to know exactly where the money is going.
5. Directly fund research initiatives
Research is critical to finding a cure, prevention methods, and more effective treatment options. Currently, the National Foundation for Cancer Research is funding dedicated researchers seeking answers as to why breast cancer occurs in certain patients and discovering more effective treatment methods. The work of these researchers relies on donations and a contribution of any size can have a huge impact. Many research advocates have involved their communities in raising money for a great cause. From hosting raffles at campgrounds to teens rallying to raise funds through art and even playing sports, there are many ways to make a big difference. To learn more about fundraising opportunities, please visit https://www.nfcr.org/get-involved/