By Diane F. Martell, FCLS, CIIP, DAE, CLP
It’s October, which means kids have been back in school for a while and the cooler temperatures of fall are upon us. October has been designated as breast cancer awareness month. Each and every one of us has likely been touched by breast cancer in some way, and it’s a cause that has received much publicity.
Everyone can benefit from a few simple reminders on actions that help reduce the risk of breast cancer. These involve maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and limiting alcohol intake. One should also avoid exposure to cancer causing chemicals and radiation. Additionally, frequent self-exams are a must, partnered with regular screenings such as mammograms. Those with a family history of breast cancer may wish to consult with a physician and consider genetic testing to determine if specific mutations are being carried that put them at a higher risk of developing the disease.
Breast cancer research has come a long way but still has far to go. You can get involved in donating to finding a cure by participating in one of many ways. There is a great deal of merchandise available for purchase; simply by wearing something pink or by displaying the pink ribbon, you’re showing your support! There are also several organizations which host walks/runs of various distances, with entry fees and donations raised going toward breast cancer research. These activities are a great way to get some exercise, have fun, and help a great cause!
There are all kinds of ways to get involved. Nearly every city has some sort of foundation that hosts events to raise awareness of and funds for breast cancer and research. Volunteers are always needed to make such activities a success. These events are fun and rewarding and can also be a great way to meet others interested in the same cause.
Breast cancer is not something that can be prevented completely, but with everyone’s awareness and participation we can move toward it being 100% curable.
Happy October – wear pink!
Diane F. Martell, FCLS, CIIP, DAE, CLP