In the fall, breast cancer awareness reaches an all-time high. Hundreds of walks/runs are held. Pink ribbons appear across the nation in workplaces and schools. Even professional sports teams don pink uniforms to remind people of the dangers of breast cancer. With all of this attention, you might think breast cancer has been conquered in the United States. You may think we no longer need to draw attention to breast cancer.
INCIDENTS OF CANCER HAVE INCREASED
Although mortality rates from breast cancer have fallen in the past 30 years, the reported number of cases for this type of cancer has actually increased slightly for younger women. The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that women under 50 have experienced a 1.9% increase in early stage breast cancer from 1998 to 2010. Many theories exist as to why this has happened. One explanation is more mammograms have been performed, so more early stage growths have been discovered. Another theory is that changes in reproductive patterns have increased early stage breast cancers. Delayed childbearing and having fewer children are recognized risk factors for breast cancer in women.
MORTALITY RATES ARE UNACCEPTABLE
Yes, breast cancer awareness events have helped prevent the deaths of thousands of women. Due to early detection, survivors of breast cancer have risen since 1989 Yet, deaths from breast cancer continue to occur. The ACS reports an estimated 39,620 women died from breast cancer in 2013, and the organization predicts about the same number of deaths will happen again in 2014. That means America will lose thousands of women in this year alone. That number is unacceptable, especially since those deaths could be prevented. What can you do to stop breast cancer from killing more people?
Whether you are a man or a woman, everyone needs to learn more about this disease. You could start in your local doctor’s office, your local ACS chapter, or the ACS website. The ACS website provides information on healthy lifestyles to help stop the disease before it starts. It answers questions about possible symptoms of breast cancer. It also provides information on treatments and support for survivors of cancer and their families. Perhaps the most important thing a woman can learn is how to conduct a breast self exam. This one procedure can save millions of lives. WebMD has a tutorial if you are unsure how to perform this procedure. In addition, the ACS recommends women age 40 or older receive a mammogram annually, but many women avoid this procedure because they fear it. Mammograms can be uncomfortable, and many women feel awkward or embarrassed. The ACS provides a guide called 7 Things to Know About Getting a Mammogram to educate women about the importance of a mammogram screening. This one guide helps many women overcome their fears.
Many levels of involvement exist. An easy way to become more involved is to donate to the ACS. Your donation makes research and support possible. Looking for a fun way to get involved and spread the message about breast cancer? Thousands of people across America take their level of involvement to the next step by participating in local events. The ACS sponsors Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events, but other organizations hold events as well. Susan G. Komen chapters hold many events. In Northwest Ohio, Race for the Cure events are held and many restaurants participate in Dine Out for the Cure. Check the Susan G. Komen website for details on how to get involved. Perhaps the best way to become involved is to help host an event. By volunteering, you are giving perhaps the most precious item of all: your time. But your time will not be wasted because by volunteering at an event, you educate the local community, bring in donations, and allow others to participate in getting the message spread to a community about this deadly disease. Volunteering is the highest form of helping in the fight against breast cancer.
HIT TROPHY PARTICIPATES IN “THINK PINK” MONTH
We at Hit Trophy are also participating in this fight against breast cancer. During “Think Pink” month (October), we will be offering free pink pens to anyone who stops by our headquarters in Archbold, Ohio. It is our attempt to educate our local community about the second most deadly form of cancer among women, breast cancer. We also sell awards for those who have participated in breast cancer awareness. These awards are perfect for donors, participants in events, or volunteers who have helped educate their community about breast cancer.
So do your part in defeating breast cancer. Get educated and get involved during “Think Pink” Month. Spread the word and save the lives of thousands of wives, mothers, daughters and sisters.