In light of current events, it’s easy to forget that conditions like breast cancer are still a persistent and ongoing problem for many. And although medical treatments have evolved in leaps and bounds over the years, we’re still no closer to a permanent cure. Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer still accounted for 7% of all cancer-related deaths in 2019.
That’s why National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so important — and why, especially if you or a loved one could potentially experience breast cancer, you should participate.
What Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Founded through a partnership between The American Cancer Society and AstraZeneca in 1985, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was originally intended as an initiative for the promotion of mammograms as a means of fighting breast cancer. Since then, its cause has expanded significantly. Today, it’s largely driven by the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and focuses on both raising awareness about the illness and raising funds for research and treatment.
How Do I Get Involved In National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Whether you’re a survivor, supporting a loved one, or simply someone who wants to help, there are plenty of ways you can participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Give to Charity
The simplest way to get involved is to donate to a charity — we’d recommend the NBCF. Its 2021 fundraising initiative, known as Rise Up, allows donors to choose exactly how their donation is used. Options include:
- Screening. Support the NCBF’s National Mammography and Patient Navigation Programs, which provide free mammograms and screenings.
- Education. Ensure people have the information and resources they need for the early detection of breast cancer.
- Support. Services include HOPE Kits, support groups, and metastatic retreats, all of which provide emotional support and guidance to victims of breast cancer.
- General. Allow the NBCF to direct your funds wherever they’re needed most.
Put on Some Pink
Even if you don’t have much money to donate, you can still show your support. Pin a pink ribbon onto your coat, or wear a pink T-shirt to spread awareness. We’ve put together a few recommendations here.
Educate and Inform
It’s not called Breast Cancer Awareness Month for nothing. Even if you aren’t wearing pink (or if you’re stuck in quarantine), you can still do your part to raise awareness. This could include, but certainly isn’t limited to:
- Sharing statistics and education from NCBF or the American Cancer Society.
- Share one of NCBF’s free guides.
- Learn more about cancer screenings so you can provide better advice/education to friends and loved ones.
Let’s Show Our Support Together
Treatments for breast cancer have come a long way. But they also have a long way to go before we can truly put this tragic illness behind us. This month, let’s all do our part to get one step closer to a permanent cure.