October is known for Halloween, pumpkin spice lattes and comfy sweaters. But more importantly it is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Therefore early detection is key and it is important that as college students we learn at an early age how to check ourselves and be aware of the symptoms. Our girls are important to us and it is our job to make sure they are always in tiptop shape!
The easiest way to do a breast examination is to do a self-exam. According to John Hopkins Medical Center forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump. There are several ways to check your breasts manually; this should be done about once a month. The best places are in the shower, in front of a mirror or lying down. Using you hands you should feel around your breast for any lumps or spots that feel painful to the touch. You should also look for any changes in color or swelling. Make sure to check the entire breast and closer to the armpits. If anything feels abnormal it is important to talk to a healthcare professional.
There are many organizations that help to raise money for breast cancer research and give money to those who are currently battling the disease. Since it is one of the most popular forms of cancer, these organizations are very prevalent, especially on college campuses. One organization is the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Founded by survivor Janelle Hail, the NBCF helps to educate women about breast cancer and provide free mammograms to those in need. The American Cancer Society is also helps to not only raise money for people battling cancer, but it also helps caregivers, raises awareness and creates programs to make living a little easier for people fighting the disease. Finally, Susan G. Komen is an organization that not only works to address research and health, but it also works with global outreach and public policy so there can one day be a world without breast cancer.
Not only in the month of October, but every month people should be aware of the impact breast cancer has on the world. However, October is the month we devout to going above and beyond for those who have survived, lost and are currently battling the disease. We must continue to show our support by participating in walks, educating others and of course wearing pink!