Can you tell by the flood of pink everything for sale that it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While you may see the ad that 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime, what you might not see or hear is that while Hispanic and African American women are less likely to get breast cancer than Caucasian women, their chances of dying from breast cancer are actually higher.
Even more troublesome, is that when we do finally get a diagnosis, it’s a much later, and often deadlier stage. Many cite reasons such as less access to screenings and treatment as part of the problem. I would add that for all women, it’s also a lack of awareness before and after being diagnosed.
The faces we see on the ads attached to those pretty pink ribbons may not look like us, but the statistics don’t lie.
I had an aunt that passed from breast cancer, and yet for a long time I still didn’t believe something like that could happen to me. But it can, and it can happen to you too. I’m not one for scare tactics, but I do believe in being armed with every piece of information possible and being your own health advocate. Like my friend and breast cancer survivor Marlena Ortiz says, “If You Feel Something, Say Something.” Lower your risk of getting breast cancer by incorporating a healthier lifestyle. There is evidence that exercise may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Don’t let cost be a factor in not getting checked out. There are programs out there that will help you in your time of need. Breast cancer, like so many other cancers, does not have to be a death sentence if you catch it in time.
With love XOXO, Helen