October 1st marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, this ugly disease remains one of the deadliest cancers to Americans. This month strives to recognize the strength and perseverance of fighters and survivors of breast cancer and to publicize their experiences. For all other Americans, here are four things to know and do for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Things To Know
Family History Isn’t the Only Risk Factor
If breast cancer runs in your family, you’re at a higher risk of suffering from the disease. However, family genetics aren’t the only threats. A sedentary lifestyle can also put you in jeopardy of developing many diseases, one being breast cancer. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can also increase the chances of developing cancer cells in the breasts.
There Are Four Types of Breast Cancer
A common misconception about this disease is that all cases of breast cancer are the same. In truth, there are four different variations:
- Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS): A noninvasive cancer in which atypical cells dwell in the lining of breast milk ducts. This cancer is highly treatable if detected early.
- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC): An invasive cancer caused by the spread of cancer cells from the milk ducts to other areas of the breast tissue. This is the most common form of breast cancer.
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC): A very aggressive form of breast cancer that quickly multiplies. Cancer cells migrate to the skin and to the lymph vessels of the breasts. This is a difficult variant of cancer to detect, as it typically causes no tumors or bumps in the breasts.
- Metastatic Breast Cancer: Also known as stage four cancer, this form of breast cancer means cancer cells have spread (or metastasized) to other parts of the body.
Simply knowing these different forms of the disease and spreading the word are two of many helpful things to know and do during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Things To Do
Donate More Than Money
Monetary donations toward reputable organizations are crucial, but simply taking time out of your day to help people in need is valuable in the fight against breast cancer. Many charities offer support in the form of free classes and resources.
Relieving stress in any way possible also immensely aids people affected by this disease. Volunteering your time for organizations will have a massive effect on raising awareness and conquering breast cancer.
Spread the Word
It may seem as though everyone is aware of breast cancer, but frequently spreading the word during October is still essential. Share relevant articles and positive messages on social media to inform others and to show any loved ones afflicted with this disease that you’re thinking about them.
Something extremely effective you can accomplish during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is educating yourself on common medical information by taking classes such as American Heart Association courses that teach more about the subject.
Whether you or a loved one has been affected by breast cancer, or even if you’re unfamiliar with the disease, you can take steps to be an ally during the month of October. Staying informed through accurate and current medical sources while putting in the effort to stop this disease can do wonders for breast cancer awareness.