October is breast cancer awareness month.
All month long your Facebook timelines will be flooded with pink ribbons and breast cancer events. Pink ribbon merchandise and pink colored attire will flood store shelves and you will hear about every breast cancer fund under the sun and that is great.
Except for one thing, breast cancer is a real disease and it lasts all year round.
Breast cancer is real and it impacts people 365 days a year.
Women and men are diagnosed with breast cancer every single day.
Let me share some very interesting stats with you that you may not know ( I know I didn’t). I hope you read them and share them with your friends.
Breast cancer is more than pink ribbons and pink colored shirts.
It is a disease that changes lives and not just the lives of the woman who are diagnosed with it. It impacts women and men around the world and their families.
Breast cancer is a disease that changes your life physically, mentally and spiritually from the day you are diagnosed.
More than 250,000 women just like you will be diagnosed with breast cancer, this year..
That is only the new cases, not those whose cancer has returned. They will be your friends, your neighbors, and your family member. Some maybe strangers, other will be people who you never thought would get breast cancer, and one of them may even be you.
I’m not complaining because some awareness is better than no awareness.
I am thankful that October is breast cancer month and I am even more thankful that this month people will think and talk about breast cancer.
What I hope more than anything is that people take all of the attention they put on breast cancer during the 31 days of October and spread it around and make it last all year long.
I hope that women will do breast self exams and that they will encourage others to do the same. I hope that women will stop taking unnecessary chances with their lives and their health and that they will get their regularly scheduled mammograms, pap smears and other important screenings so that if problems are found they are detected early. I pray for life without cancer, any kind of cancer. I pray for a cure and for resources to make the lives of breast cancer survivors just a little easier than they are today.
Until then, I pray that you will take care of yourself, get screened and pay attention to your body because early detection really does change lives.
Here are the breast cancer screening suggestions from the American Cancer Society:
Women ages 40 to 44 should start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or they can continue yearly screening.
Women with a family history of breast cancer or those with other risk factors should start screen earlier. Please talk to your doctor to see what they recommend and govern yourself accordingly.
The statistics I reference came from the Susan G. Komen site. Here are some additional facts about breast cancer that you want to know.