As published in the Student Nutrition Association of Kaplan Newsletter, October 2014, Vol. 3, Issue 6.
Breast cancer is the second most common form of a cancer in the world and the single most common affecting women. Nearly 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Although it is most prevalent among women, breast cancer can be found in men as well (Breast Cancer Society, Inc., 2014). Currently, an estimated 40,000 women and 410 men in America will die each year from breast cancer; though these rates have been on a steady decline since the 1990s (National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., 2012). Thanks to medical advances in screening and treatment options, increased awareness and early detection programs there is hope for the future.
Providing hope is the basis for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which was started in 1985 by the drug manufacturer, AstraZeneca to encourage women to receive mammograms. Originally the event was only held for one week and has since evolved into a nationwide, month long event. The focus of this annual campaign is raising awareness about breast cancer prevention and the importance of early detection (Breast Cancer Society, Inc., 2014). The National Breast Cancer Foundation states that the five-year survival rate is 98% when breast cancer is detected in the early stages. Learning about the signs of breast cancer increases this chance, as well as performing regular self-exams, scheduling clinical exams and mammograms (The National Breast Cancer Foundation, 2014). They suggest creating an Early Detection Plan™ through their website or mobile app to create a timeline and set reminders to notify you when it is time for another exam or screening.
Each October, many groups such as the American Cancer Society, The Breast Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, The National Breast Cancer Foundation, and many more come together to promote the cause and spread hope through their events. These events are not only informative, but fun and entertaining as well featuring music, activities, food, and prizes (Breast Cancer Society, Inc., 2014). Popular Breast Cancer Awareness Month events include the National Race for the Cure, Ride to Empower, Global Illumination, and Pink Days. Check within your community for other local Breast Cancer Awareness Month events that may be held. For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness Month and how to get involved visit the following websites.
- The Breast Cancer Society: http://www.breastcancersociety.org
- The American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org
- early detection plan™: http://www.earlydetectionplan.org
- The National Breast Cancer Foundation: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org
- Susan G. Komen: http://ww5.komen.org
Breast Cancer Society, Inc. (2014). Breast cancer awareness month. Retrieved from http://www.breastcancersociety.org/aboutbreastcancer/thebreastcancermovement/breastcancerawarenessmonth/
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (2012). Breast cancer awareness month. Retrieved from http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month
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