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Breast Cancer Awareness Month by Alexandra Rossopoulos

October 28, 2021

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in October 1985 and the significance of Pink October should not be overlooked.
Symbolised by a simple pink ribbon, it aims to raise awareness of breast cancer among women and to encourage them to step up their efforts in the early detection of cancer.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and throughout the year—people wear pink ribbons to honor survivors, remember those lost to the disease, and to support the progress we are making together to defeat breast cancer.

About one in eight U.S. women (about 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer throughout her lifetime. In 2021, about 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 49,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
Nearly 25 percent of women in the U.S. who undergo bilateral mastectomy choose not to reconstruct (as do approximately 50 percent of women who undergo unilateral mastectomy) motivated, most times, by a desire to minimize their surgeries, complications, and recovery time

If you want to help a woman with breast cancer, there are a few steps you can take to support her.

• Be available to listen. Let your friend know that you’re available to come over when needed or that you don’t mind taking a call from her in the middle of the night.
• Just be yourself, phone her, but be respectful of her needs.
• Offer to go to the supermarket.
• Offer to drive her or her children wherever they need to.
• Visit, but phone first to check it’s okay.
• Try not to say “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine”. You don’t know that and this statement downplays what she is going through.
• Don’t be afraid to give a hug, foot massage, or a manicure, if that’s natural and part of your friendship.
• When she finishes chemotherapy, ask her how she feels but avoid celebrations.
• Encourage her to live in the present moment, practice, meditate and spend time in nature.
• Spend time together but respect her need to rest.
• Make short-term plans with her. Accept her mood swings and show compassion.

If you desire to get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are a few things you can do to support the cause. You can:

1. Wear pink clothes or a pink ribbon.
2. Volunteer.
3. Help a cancer patient.
4. Share facts and statistics.
5. Educate yourself and others about cancer screenings.
6. Decorate a bulletin board.
7. Fund research initiatives.
8. Take part in a run or a walk.
9. Create a pink installation.
10. Provide breast cancer prevention tips.
11. Share inspirational patient stories.
12. Host a breast cancer fundraiser.

You can make a difference during breast cancer awareness month. If you know someone who is experiencing breast cancer, be sure to follow this advice in order to be there for them in the best way possible.

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