Considering the fact that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed among women – and 1 in 8 women will be affected – it only seems appropriate that there’s an entire month dedicated to raising awareness about it. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are a number of different ways you can participate. Women and men get involved for several reasons, whether it’s because they’ve lost someone to breast cancer, battled it themselves, they know someone who’s been affected by it or they simply want to help spread awareness about an important cause. Here are 8 ways you can honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
1. Educate Yourself and Others
A huge component of spreading awareness is educating yourself and others on the facts to do with breast cancer. Knowing the symptoms and signs of breast cancer and making sure your friends know of them, too, is important. (Warning signs include tenderness in or around the nipples, a lump in the breast, an enlargement of pores or a change in the texture of the skin on your breasts and discolored nipple discharge.) You can also take the time to educate yourself and others on healthy lifestyle changes that can help prevent this cancer, such as being a non-smoker, limiting your alcohol intake, eating fruits and vegetables and exercising often.
2. Wear Pink
Every October, the colour pink shows up a little more than usual. From pink accessories and pink clothing to pink fingernails and pink hair, people are going to be integrating pink into their wardrobes to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This subtle visual cue in the form of pink everywhere we look does help to spread awareness and serves as an important reminder to the general public to support the cause. Participate by wearing pink to show your support, and if you drive, tie a pink ribbon to your antennae. If you don’t own anything pink, grab a cheap pink t-shirt from your local Value Village or Savers thrift store. If you don’t want to wear pink, at least wear the signature pink ribbon that represents breast cancer pinned to your chest.
3. Get a Mammogram
What better way is there to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month than to honor your own health and schedule a mammogram for yourself? A mammogram is the screening test for breast cancer, and it can provide early detection of breast cancer. It’s one thing to spread awareness, donate to the cause and wear pink – but don’t forget to check yourself out and book a self-screening, too.
4. Start a Discussion
You can honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month simply by talking about breast cancer, mammograms and preventative measures with friends and family members. Perhaps you have a close friend or family member who you could convince to schedule a mammogram. Even simply passing on information and starting a discussion is a great way to participate and support the cause.
5. Post on Social Media
Speaking of starting a discussion and spreading the word, a great way of spreading awareness is to post a photo of you, in your pink outfit, wearing your breast cancer ribbon, with a caption that educates your followers on some breast cancer statistics and information. Social media is a great way to spread the word and encourage others to get involved.
6. Run for the Cure or Attend Fundraising Events
There are many breast cancer awareness fundraisers to choose from. There are some very big organizations in your area to ‘walk for the cure’ or ‘run for the cure’ that you can participate in. There are plenty of other fundraisers that contribute toward breast cancer awareness, too, if ‘run for the cure’ isn’t your thing. Check out opportunities to contribute to local breast cancer bake sales, charity auctions, and more.
Donating to the cause is an obvious choice when it comes to supporting the cause. While fundraising events are a great way to band together with other women in pink and make a statement, a simple donation goes a long away as well.
8. Bring Pink Food to a Dinner Party
Going to a dinner party, or organizing one? Bring pink food and explain to the guests that the pink goodies they’re eating is in support of breast cancer. Use it as an opportunity to spread knowledge and awareness. Pink food is so cute, chances are your friends will Instagram what they’re eating which is even more exposure for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Bringing the pink to the party is a great way to support and advocate for breast cancer awareness.
Erica Gordon is the author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This? The Complete How-To Guide for Singles with a History of Failed Relationships Who Want their Next Relationship to Succeed, available here.