Two Breast Cancer Survivors holding hands

Breast Cancer Awareness: What You Can Do All Year Long

Awareness of this disease is not just for October

Although Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October, the topic is too important to only consider for 31 days a year. Check out these important steps to help you, your loved ones, and our nation take this deadly disease head on …

Maintain proper breast cancer screenings

The first and arguably most-important step you can take for breast cancer awareness is to maintain proper screenings as recommended by the American Cancer Society (ACS). These recommendations involve appropriate mammograms, MRIs, clinical exams, and personal self-awareness. Knowing which ones apply to your specific situation is the first step in the fight against cancer. The ACS recommend that women between the age of 45 and 54 should receive annual mammograms, and women 55 and older should switch to one mammogram every other year. MRIs can also be used to detect breast cancer, although they are generally recommended for women who are at a higher risk for the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone should be familiar with how their breasts look and feel, which can help you notice abnormalities like lumps, discomfort, or changes in size and shape. Self-awareness should be coupled with self-examinations. The CDC also recommends clinical examinations, a procedure where a doctor will use his or her hands to search for lumps or other signs of breast cancer.

Encourage breast cancer screenings for the people you love

Now that you have taken care of yourself (and you’re leading by example), you can encourage other women to do the same. Talk to them about breast cancer screening, proper self-exam techniques, and other issues that help with early detection. While you’re at it, mention the fact that most health insurance programs cover annual or bi-annual mammograms for women over 40 and there is usually little to no out-of-pocket cost.

By encouraging other women to take the right steps, you’ve increased their chances of early detection, which is crucial to fighting the disease.

Discuss important breast cancer issues with your loved ones

If breast cancer is important to you, then discuss it with your friends and family. Talk about funding issues, screenings, and “wear-pink” campaigns. Don’t be afraid to thoughtfully scrutinize charitable and medical organizations and analyze their efforts; this is, after all, how change and improvements begin. Keep breast cancer efforts at the forefront of the conversation so you and your loved ones are aware of this important topic. And don’t forget, while the disease is less common in men, they can suffer from breast cancer as well.

Purchase pink items with thoughtfulness

Just like your discussions, purchases should be made with attention to detail. Not all pink campaigns and fundraising efforts are the same; that’s not to say many are unscrupulous, it’s just that each has a different agenda. For example, some are focused almost entirely on research while others directly help people dealing with breast cancer.

You should simply purchase from (and donate to) organizations that share your goals or values. Before you buy, know where your money is going and you’ll feel much better about your efforts.

Caring, accurate screening services

If you have additional questions about breast cancer or any other issue related to medical screening, contact POM MRI. And if you and your physician have determined that screenings are appropriate for you, request a mammogram conducted by our friendly, knowledgeable team today.

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