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Oct 15, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Image Courtesy of scottchan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Cancer is a nasty, nasty thing. It affects too many families. This month is all about Breast Cancer Awareness.  I now have breast cancer on both sides of my family. As some of you may know from one of my last posts, currently my mom is fighting this terrible beast. I also have at least two women on my father's side who battled with breast cancer, many years ago. I learned about cancer at an early age, but the women I knew fought it and survived, so until I was six, cancer didn't have bad connotations really.
According to Breastcancer.org, an average woman has a 12-13% chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime. While there are factors that can increase this number, there are also ways to reduce it.

What are some risk factors? (As found at BreastCancer.org)
  • Being a woman
  • Age 
  • Family/Personal History
  • Certain Breast Changes
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Being Overweight
  • Pregnancy history
  • Breastfeeding and Menstrual Histories
  • There are even more factors that can increase your risk, but I don't want to focus on the negative too much. 
How to reduce your risk:
  • Maintain a Healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don't smoke (or quit if you do)
  • Reducing your exposure to certain chemicals
If you are 35 or over, there is a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment tool you can use.

What are some things you can do this month?
  • Be aware of your risks
  • Perform a self-exam
  • Go and get a Mammogram done - If you have never had one, or it has been over a year, get checked.
  • Help support research/awareness - you can make a donation to an organization or purchase Pink Ribbon products. One thing, when purchasing pink ribbon items, I always like to make sure that part of my purchase is going towards research or awareness. 
  • Wear Pink! If you have pink in your wardrobe or pink ribbon items, wear it. 
Until next time... Know your risks, and love on those in your life...
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