October breast cancer awareness month is nearing an end, which means you’ve likely seen pink ribbons, fundraising advertisements, and facts about the signs of breast cancer and its rate of infection spread across your computer and television screen for the past four weeks. Spreading breast cancer awareness isn’t a new endeavor, but the question is, have you taken advantage of breast cancer awareness month to improve your own knowledge about the disease and your possible risks? If not and you find yourself asking “What is breast cancer?”, here is some of what you need to know.
Breast Cancer is a disease in which an excessive amount of malignant cells infect the lobules, ducts, or connective tissue of the breast, causing abnormalities that can lead to death. It is the most common form of cancer among women in the world and is the second most lethal, next to lung cancer, if left untreated. The signs of breast cancer vary from person to person, but most breast cancer patients find lumps, swelling, irritation, pain, or redness in and around the breast. Dimples, nipple discharge, and changes in the size, shape and color of the breast are also common signs of breast cancer. When detected early, breast cancer can be treated more effectively, which is why breast cancer awareness is so important.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in the United States in 1985 when the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries banned together to try and spread awareness of the disease, its signs and symptoms, and ways in which women could reduce their risk. Now, years later, October breast cancer awareness month has been adopted around the globe as organizations, businesses, and survivors work to arm women (and men) with the power of knowledge. Those who make it their mission to spread breast cancer awareness do so with the intent to diminish the number of cases around the world and to help ALL women get access to the much needed medical care that is essential to survival.
Breast cancer awareness month is so important because the disease is most easily treated in its early stages. When women attain the knowledge they need in order to complete self-exams and reduce their personal risks, their chances of survival increase. In addition, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and others like it, help shine a light on the topic, drawing in the attention of those who have the means to donate to the cause. Funds raised during this month go toward finding a cure and helping those who don’t have access to proper medical care get the help they need. If you are still wondering “Why is October breast cancer month so important?”, ask the millions of women who were able to get the treatment they needed when they needed it most and you’ll find your answer. These warriors know the importance of breast cancer awareness month.
If you haven’t done so already, spend some time during this October breast cancer awareness month making sure you and your loved ones know what is breast cancer and how you can reduce your risk. This sort of knowledge can be extremely helpful in saving your life or that of someone you love.