I’ve been lucky, much luckier than many others, to have not directly known anyone diagnosed with breast cancer. But that is not to say breast cancer hasn’t touched my family. My Great-Aunt Betty died some 30 years ago from breast cancer leaving behind three small children and beloved husband. Her death deeply effected my grandmother and the rest of our family. Though I did not know her, her loss is still deeply felt here. Today marks the first day of October and so the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
According to the American Cancer Society, every three minutes a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. It is estimated that there will be 192, 370 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 40,170 deaths from breast cancer in 2009.
The National Cancer Institute reports that while breast cancer is the leading cancer among white and African American women, African American women are more likely to die from this disease. Another little known fact is breast cancer incidence in women has increased from one in 20 in 1960 to one in eight today. This could be due to better tracking and testing, also raised awareness of the disease.
Companies like Bright Pink do their part everyday to keep us informed and to remind us about the important things, like remembering to perform a self check every month. Bright Pink provides a great new service called Underwire Alerts. These alerts will send you a text message every month to remind you to check your breast health and speak up about awareness! To sign up simply text PINK to 59227 or by visiting BeBrightPink.org. Once you’ve signed up be sure to encourage 10 of your friends to do the same.
You can also help further the Breast Cancer Awareness cause by purchasing special Pink items this month. Many companies will donate a portion of their profits to great organizations such as Susan G. Komen and the National Breast Cancer Awareness Fund, just be sure to check that they brand is actually donating and not capitalizing on the opportunity.