Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women, and is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer. October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Find out some ideas which will help to create awareness on breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2018, there will be 266,120 new cases and 40,920 deaths from breast cancer among women in the United States.
The American Cancer Society, along with AstraZeneca (manufacturer of many anti-breast cancer drugs) established October as the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the year 1985. With a Silver Jubilee already to its credit, the awareness month is one that has been successful in making people aware about this dreaded disease.
Awareness about possible predispositions that increase the risk of developing this cancer, the symptoms, how to detect the cancer at home, the remedies and treatments available for women already suffering from breast cancer, prognosis of the disease, and related lifestyle changes you can adopt was spread.
There are several ways in which you can increase awareness about breast cancer among people around you. Find out how.
Spread The Message
Many medical institutions, hospitals, clinics, and non-profit organizations come up with different kinds of programs and movements that help people know more about such issues as breast cancer. Here are a few ideas you can implement this year.
Free Health Check-up
For their own justified reasons or fears, women may shy away from getting themselves checked. Offering a free check-up can be a good idea to get these women shed their awkwardness and come forth for a check-up.
You may even try to get a celebrity to participate in a similar event. A celebrity getting herself examined might give other women courage to get themselves examined as well. Alternatively, you can hand out discount coupons for health check-ups. They can be given for other women-related products too.
You can hand out the breast cancer pink ribbon to all the women who turn up for the check-up and urge them to wear it at least for a day. This will ensure that the awareness message is spread far and wide.
One disappointing fact about the Internet is that sometimes the information you get there is incomplete, misleading or point-blank wrong. Holding a campaign week in your city will be a great way to clear all the doubts that people have. You can ask people to send in their queries to an e-mail ID, and these doubts can be answered through lectures.
You can invite experts in your city to have an interactive seminar with people. You can use the event to sell awareness merchandise such as awareness rubber bracelets, T-shirts, or even handbags. The money raised can be donated to a research center, a clinic, or a hospital.
Using the local newspaper or radio broadcast station to reach out to the masses has been a successfully strategy to create awareness about an issue. You too can tie-up with a local print or broadcast media to create awareness about the disease.
You can invite gynecologists and oncologists to write articles on breast cancer and publish them in the newspaper. These articles should aim at giving people information about the causes, symptoms, and treatment. They should also serve the purpose to eradicate wrong beliefs or myths about the disease.
Apart from this, you can also give the readers a health tip everyday that will help them steer clear from the factors that contribute to the risk of breast cancer.
Organizing a march or walk can be an effective way to create awareness. The Race for the Cure (initiated in October 1983) is held annually in almost 100 different cities in the United states alone, and is also organized in countries like New Zealand, Germany, etc.
You can motivate people to participate in such programs by advertising it on the local radio and in the newspaper. You can hold a competition as well; a marathon would be a great idea.
A slightly different competition would be to design an awareness-related logo or symbol. This logo or symbol can go onto T-shirts which people participating in the march can wear. You can even get a famous artist or designer to design a symbol specially for your event.
Many corporate organizations do their bit in creating awareness by celebrating one of the days in October as 'Pink Day'. Employees are urged to incorporate pink in their attire. Men can wear pink shirts or ties. Women can opt for pink blouses teamed with cream-colored skirts or trousers. A pink handbag or scarf can also do the trick.
Another idea could be to include a pink theme for the company website. Finally, the company can sponsor all the female employees for a health check-up. Even at the personal level, you and your friends can celebrate a pink day. You can organize a private lecture for the benefit of your friends and neighbors.
The Facebook Chain Status
A couple of years ago, girls and women all over the world had different colors as their status messages on various networking sites and online messengers, including Facebook - red, beige, white, black, purple, etc.
Men all over the world were perplexed - so were these the new favorite colors of their girlfriends, sisters, or wives? Soon, however, the cat was out of the bag, and the mystery of the chain status messages was revealed. Women had put up the color of their bras as a Facebook status for the breast cancer awareness month!
At first glance, that looks like a stupid idea. But it worked. It got noticed. It got people intrigued. It got everyone all over the world reading up about breast cancer. Even though many people ridiculed it, the movement served its purpose - it did create awareness.
However, the idea lost its novelty and died out, so the tradition was not followed the following year. But you can change that and start the trend all over again.
Few Important Pointers
Women should keep these points in mind to prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer : ▶ Perform a self-examination of your breasts every month. ▶ Women over 40 years should get a mammogram done every year. ▶ Maintain a normal body weight. ▶ Engage in regular physical activities.
▶ Avoid or limit the intake of alcohol. ▶ Have a balanced diet comprising fresh fruits and vegetables. ▶ Practice healthy habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle. ▶ If you notice any changes in your breasts consult your doctor at the earliest.
There is a lot each one of us can do to create awareness about breast cancer and other such medical issues. Those with a family history of breast cancer should educate themselves about the risk factors. We must believe in the power we have - to make a difference, to change the world. If we believe, we can; together we can, and we should!