The Importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Chances are that you’re familiar with Breast Cancer Awareness Month or have at least heard of it. However, there are a few things that you may not know about it. In this article, we’ll talk more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and why it’s so important. But first, what exactly is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

What Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed every October, and the entire month is used to raise awareness for the risk of breast cancer. While breast cancer is most common in women, there are also rare cases of men being diagnosed with it. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has become symbolized by a pink ribbon—and the color pink in general—worn by people showing solidarity, support, and hope for their loved ones, as well as helping to raise awareness about the disease. During this month, fundraising efforts dramatically increase for helping current patients, funding new research, and educating others about cancer. These fundraisers often involve walks or races where large groups of people get together to show their support.

Now that we’ve talked about what Breast Cancer Awareness Month is, let’s look at why it’s so important.

Why Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month So Important?

  • Education and Awareness

Two of the main reasons why Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so important are that it focuses on educating and raising awareness. This is vital because nearly 1 in 8 women in the United States (over 12% of the female population) will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. This rate equates to over 250,000 women being diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year.

Raising awareness helps support those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and also helps other people understand how much of a risk breast cancer is, guiding them to take action. Like all forms of cancer, there is no way to prevent breast cancer,  but there are steps you can take to limit your risk, including:

  • Staying physically active
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Limiting your alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding smoking cigarettes

Breast Cancer Awareness Month also raises awareness for potential symptoms of breast cancer so women and men know when they should seek help. Here are some of the common symptoms that could be warning signs of breast cancer:

  • Lumps in the breast or underarm
  • Part of the breast swelling or thickening
  • Pain in any area of the breast
  • Pain in the nipple or pulling in of the nipple
  • Discharge from the nipple other than breast milk (including blood)
  • Changes in the shape or size of the breast
  • Breast skin becoming irritated or dimpled
  • Redness or flaky skin in the breast or nipple

Sometimes, there are no symptoms that accompany breast cancer. This is another reason Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so important as it also serves as a reminder for people to participate in regular breast cancer screenings, including getting mammograms. This way, breast cancer can be caught early on even if there are no symptoms.

  • Celebration

Another reason why Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so important is that it serves as a celebration for all of those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and beaten the disease. The entire month is a time when breast cancer survivors can share their inspirational stories, which both raise awareness for others and also provide encouragement for those currently battling breast cancer. This is a powerful time where people come together in order to help others and provide hope moving into the future.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to educate yourself further on the risks of breast cancer and to schedule a breast examination to get checked. MyAlly Health offers confidential reproductive health services to women and men in the Grand Forks, North Dakota area, regardless of income or age. This includes preventive care, like getting tested for STIs, annual examinations like Pap Smears, breast examinations, and pelvic examinations, and even getting vaccinated against the flu. The clinical services we provide are all performed by Nurse Practitioners and Resident Physicians. 

In order to empower and engage individuals in their well-being and reproductive health, MyAlly Health offers education, counseling, advocacy, and healthcare services. Find out more about what we do, help make a difference by donating to our cause, or schedule an appointment with us today for a breast examination!

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