All About National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October’s right around the corner and that means it’s almost time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), the month that medical associations and government agencies come together to awareness of breast cancer and to share information on the disease for all Americans.

NBCAM began in 1985 with the goal of promoting mammography as the most effective tool for fighting breast cancer. Since then, the project has grown larger through many different sponsors, some of the best known of which include:

  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • Men Against Breast Cancer
  • Cancer Care
  • The American Cancer Society
  • The American Medical Women’s Association

What You Can Do To HelpA pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.

There are a variety of programs across America in October that you can get involved in. Races are a frequent favorite during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and most of the time you don’t have to be athletic to join. People of all shapes, sizes, sexes and ages are generally encouraged to attend. You can also sponsor others who race for the cure by donating money to walkers and runners. Feel like doing more? Volunteers are always needed, so check the Texas calendar of events online to find out who to contact.

Reducing Your Risk

Checking yourself regularly is important for catching breast cancer in its early stages. For that reason, every woman should give herself a breast exam once a month. Here’s how to do it:

  • In the shower- Use the pads of your fingers to move around the entire breast in a circular pattern, checking the entire breast and underarm area for lumps or knots.
  • In front of a mirror- Visually inspect your breasts and then raise your arms overhead to look for swelling or dimpling in the skin. Flex your chest muscles to notice any abnormalities.
  • While lying down- Place a pillow under your left shoulder and your left arm behind your head. Use the other hand to search for abnormalities in the same way you would in the shower.

If you’re over the age of 40, you should also get a mammogram every one to two years. This simple X-ray procedure can be performed in your doctor’s office or at a women’s clinic. Mammograms are able to find any cancerous tissue earlier than a self-exam, which increases your likelihood of surviving breast cancer.

If you’d like to learn more about reducing your risk of breast cancer, talk to your doctor of chiropractic. Your chiropractor can explain the steps that you need to take to lower your cancer risk while increasing your overall health. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and is the number one cancer death among Hispanic women. Take the steps necessary today to reduce your cancer risk through a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle.

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Photo credit: Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Paul Falardeau

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