Early Detection Saves Lives 💗
October is breast cancer awareness month, and we’re sending out a simple but impactful year-round reminder: early detection saves lives!
Being proactive about your breast health, like other aspects of your health, is key. While some of the symptoms of breast cancer are undetectable without professional screening techniques like a mammogram or ultrasound, some signs can be detected early by monitoring for certain changes in your breasts. Practice routine self-exams, know the risk factors, your family history, and don't skip those regular doctor visits.
When breast cancer is detected and treated early, it can be treated more successfully and the chances of survival increase exponentially. Be sure to follow breast screening guidelines, including when you are feeling healthy and well. If you’re in a certain age group, schedule regular screening tests which can help detect breast cancer before the onset of symptoms. Learn more about when and how to get screened here: https://cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-types/breast/screening
There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of breast cancer. These can include a personal or family history of breast cancer, gene mutations, having denser breasts, as well as certain inherited genetic condition linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. For a full breakdown of the risks for breast cancer, refer to the Canadian Cancer Society: https://cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-types/breast/risks
You can also be proactive about reducing the risk associated with the onset of breast cancer. Simple steps such as incorporating regular exercise into your routine, living a healthy lifestyle without smoking or consuming alcohol can all play a role in risk reduction.
Ways to help
If you’re looking for ways to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, there are a number of great ways to get involved.
Make a donation or start a fundraiser - every dollar raised helps fund cancer research for promising breakthroughs and life-saving advancements in treatment, as well as provide support to those affected by breast cancer. You can donate directly and help patients in need here: https://support.cancer.ca/site/SPageServer?pagename=DJ_NW_donation_type_selector&question2=1046
Volunteer - a meaningful way to give back can come from sharing your time to support cancer patients, or assist with fund-raising events.
Raise awareness or share your story to help someone with a recent diagnosis navigate the challenges they face while also offering hope. Katie Couric, former “TODAY” show anchor, recently did just that as she shared her breast cancer diagnosis, journey, and the role early detection played in her positive treatment outcome. Check it out here: https://katiecouric.com/news/katie-couric-has-breast-cancer/
Even a small show of support as simple as wearing your favourite pink scrubs or leaving a word of encouragement and hope for someone affected by breast cancer https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/wall-of-support/ can have a meaningful impact.
There is hope for a future without breast cancer. Prioritize and take control of your health. Together we can work toward moving closer to a day when cancer is a fear of the past.