Breast Cancer: What It Is, How to Look For It, & How to Help
Updated: Sep 25, 2022
Happy October! I can't believe we're so close to the end of the year. October is an exciting month, filled with fall flavors, halloween costumes, and sweater weather. Along with all that fun, October is a month dedicated to bringing awareness to Breast Cancer. Breast cancer is a disease that has loomed over families for generations upon generations. With each passing year the medical field, survivors, and supporters are making strides towards ending the suffering and providing aid for those battling the hard war. As a woman trying to build a community that supports women, it only seemed fitting that I take this month to contribute to the Breast Cancer Awareness cause. Buckle up, because in this article I will be taking you on a journey detailing the basics of breast cancer, as well as all the ways you can lessen the destruction of the disease.
What is Breast Cancer?
As you most likely assumed, breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts out in the breast. While it does mostly affect women, there are a small percentage of men who are diagnosed with it every year. Breast cancer is the 2nd most common cancer among women, where 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease in her lifetime. I am sure that most of you reading this can think of at least 1 or 2 women you know who have fought with breast cancer, I know 4 off the top of my head. While it is a a prominent disease in numbers, death tolls due to breath cancer have been dropping year after year since 1990. According to nationalbreastcancer.org there are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
How Do I Know If I Have Breast Cancer?
The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, so if you are a younger reader I would suggest familiarizing yourself with your body and bringing any concerns up to your primary care doctor. As for women 50 to 74 years old, the CDC reccomneds you regularly get checked every 2 years. Women 40 to 49 are recommended to speak with their doctors about when to start getting check and how often. The most common and effective way to check for breast cancer is by getting a mammogram, which is an x-ray of the breast. Regular mammograms have been proven to help catch cancer early, which helps when it comes to treatment intensity and mortality rates. For more information you can visit both breastcancer.org and komen.org.
How Can I Help?
As you can imagine, battling cancer is not only emotionally and physically draining, but it is also financially exhausting. Luckily there are many organizations whose purpose is to aid those going through rough times because of a breast cancer diagnosis, however those foundations run on donations from supporters like us. With there being so many organizations out there, it can be extremely hard to decide on who we feel most comfortable supporting. Lucky enough for you, I have taken the guess work out of donating this year. I, too, was having a very hard time deciding on which foundation I'd like to support this year when I reached out to Tajuana Allen who gave me the names of two organizations who approached her when she got sick a few years back. The names of these foundations are Dance for the Cure and Sister 2 Sister. I proud to say that I will be collecting money through GoFundMe all month long to split & donate to both Dance for the Cure and Sister 2 Sister.
Dance for the Cure is a 100% volunteer organization that supports breast cancer patients in Somerset, Hunterdon and Middlesex Counties in New Jersey. The organization was founded by 2 local dance teachers after Kathleen (one of the dance teachers) was diagnosed with breast cancer herself. They offer a direct financial assistance program and over the years they have raised and gifted over $800,000.
Sister 2 Sister is a foundation that provides support, education, advocacy and breast cancer related programs for minorities. They specialize in supporting women of color battling breast cancer. They provide their services to Middlesex, Somerset, and Union Counties in New Jersey.
I am so excited to be able to bring these foundations to your attention and help provide them with a small part of their big journey. The link to donate will be at the bottom of this article, a little goes such a long way. Thank you for all your support! Subscribe bellow to become a part of the I Am Woman Community (it's free) & be sure to follow me on Instagram & TikTok @iam.wwoman.
GoFundMe - https://gofund.me/3141b9a2