October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Submitted by: Jazmin Hernandez, Community Health Educator Lead Trainer

Pink is abundant every October, but why do we promote this color when this month arrives? And why do global organizations with as much influence as the NFL, television networks and mass media join this campaign year after year? Very simply, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women worldwide, but if it is detected in its initial stages, it is easier to treat.

Knowing Your Risk

Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? While you can’t prevent cancer, it is important to be proactive about your health.

Nowadays, advances in medical technology have allowed us to look for more timely and non-invasive ways of detection. This is the case for mammograms, which allow us to detect the early onset of breast cancer even before it is large enough to feel palpable or cause symptoms.

But what is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the excessive and uncontrolled increase of breast cells that grow in various parts of the breast such as in the ducts or breast lobules. There are several types of breast cancer, which depends on which breast cells become cancerous.

Learn more about the different types of breast cancer here.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated every October and serves an opportunity to increase collective awareness to act and help prevent and control this type of cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every 30 seconds somewhere in the world a new case of breast cancer is detected and approximately 685,000 women lost their lives from the disease in 2020 alone. Fortunately, when breast cancer is detected in its early stages there is a great chance of winning the fight and getting out ahead of the treatment if we all do our part to promote preventative screenings.

How can I combat breast cancer?

First, if you are a woman over the age of 20, a once per month self-examination is recommended. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) it is advisable to have a mammogram once a year from the age of 40. These are the two most useful tools to find suspicious lumps in the breasts and be able to act in time.

And if you are a man, remember that this type of cancer is not just a matter of women, because it is proven that out of every 100 cases of breast cancer 1 is diagnosed to a man.  All men can reduce their risk by maintaining an ideal weight and practicing physical activity in their daily lives.

Remember that health is a matter of acting in advance, and our health is our responsibility.  Let's join this campaign by seeking more information, disseminating it, or simply scheduling your next preventative examination.

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