I’ll start with the spoiler: none of these involve buying that goopy pink stuff in your local stores.
The last few years have seen a backlash against the traditional pink products that show up in October. Some people don’t like it because it’s shiny and easy and some people don’t like it because pink products tend to be more about profit than medical research.
Whatever your opinion is on the pink campaigns, it’s clear that breast cancer is an issue that every woman should care about. 1 in 8 women who make it to age 85 will get breast cancer, and more than 40, 000 women will die breast cancer this year. These women are our friends, our mothers, our sisters, and our significant others. While buying pink products probably won’t make a dent in the breast cancer rates, there are some simple things that you can (and can encourage other women to do) that will.
1. Give yourself a breast exam every month.
If you are full-busted, this can take awhile! However, self breast exams are a important tool to detecting cancer early, and are worth taking the time and effort to do right. If you don’t know how or you need a refresher, check out this great guide. You’ll feel better and catch any problems early.
2. If you’re in the age group for mammograms, get one. If you’re not, make sure you’re getting a breast exam from a doctor once a year.
Both of these fall into the category of awkward and uncomfortable experiences, but are worth doing to stay healthy and detect problems early. If you’re on birth control, lots of doctors will include this in your appointment for your pap smear when you renew your prescription.
3. Read up on the new breast cancer research and stay in the loop.
Scientists have recently discovered that breast cancer can be broken down into four different types of cancer and that several may be related to ovarian cancer. While this doesn’t mean that the market will be overflowing with new treatments yet, it’s a huge step forward. Knowing how breast cancer works, what the latest treatments are and what your risk is means that you’ll be able to detect cancers earlier and be an informed support person for anyone else you know that has breast cancer.
Do you buy pink during October? Do you not? Let me know in the comments!