When Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

September 19 2016, 0 Comments

About Breast Cancer

Studies reveal that breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women around the world apart from skin cancer. In the US, 1 in 8 women born today have a higher chance of getting breast cancer at some point in their adult life.

According to the American Cancer Society, the good news is that millions of women are able to beat this dreadful condition thanks to early detection and improvements in treatment. The Preventative Services Task Force recommends that women who are aged between 50 and 74 years need to undergo a screening mammogram every two years. If one is aged between 40 to 49 years old, they need to talk with a doctor especially when to undertake the test and how.

Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer around the world and today, there are over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors who are alive in the US despite the high detection rates.

Breast Cancer Also Affects Men

There is one fact that many people especially men may not know about breast cancer. Although it is a rare condition among men, there are 2,600 men estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer per year. You may be asking yourself how a man who is not able to reproduce milk can still get breast cancer. The problem with the human genome is that the X gene is common between both sexes. This means that men can still develop breast cancer even though the occurrence is very rare. Around the world, women commemorate breast cancer awareness month but men seem not to notice this important month can be a beginning to finding out more about breast cancer.

Before learning about breast cancer awareness month, it is important to know how the condition itself occurs. The condition begins in the body cells which are the basic unit of life as well as the building blocks for muscles in the body. Muscles or tissues are found in all parts of the body and they not only provide structure together with bones but also allow for movement.

There are several factors that result in the damage of the DNA in a cell. When this happens, the body will result in generating new cells while the old and damaged cells do not die as required. These results in the buildup of cells which form a mass of tissue that experts call a lump or growth. When the malignant tumor develops around the tissues located closest to the breast, it results in breast cancer.

These mutated cells break away from the original tumor and find their way into the blood vessels or lymph vessels. These vessels branch into the tissues throughout the body and that is how the malignant/mutated cells travel to other parts of the body. These results in the damage of other tissues in a process known as metastasis.

So, When is the Breast Cancer Awareness month?

This is an annual event that is held every October beginning the 1st and ending on the 31st of the same month. The event which is also referred to as the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated around the world and the purpose of the event is to create awareness about the disease not only among women but also among men too.

Purchase Pink Ribbon Wristbands Here

The annual event is also used to raise funds which go towards the research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of breast cancer. During this month, the pink ribbon is used to mark the event and today, it has been broadened to include pink themed clothes like T-shirts and football wear.

History of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The event was created in 1985 as a collaborative effort between the American Academy of Family Physicians, AstraZeneca healthcare foundation and CancerCare Inc. Other sponsors were involved in the start of the event and today, it has grown to include a partnership between national public service organizations, government agencies and professional medical associations. Their goal is to work together in order to raise awareness of breast cancer not only among women but among men too.

The NBCAM organization has been spearheading the event annually by promoting educational programs which are designed to encourage and empower women. The goal of the programs is to allow women to take control of their health especially when it comes to their breasts. This should be achieved by undergoing regular self breast examinations, seeking mammograms and scheduling visits with an experienced physician. Others include following a prescribed treatment plan and also learning more about breast cancer from reputable sources.

In 1990, the introduction of the Pink ribbon was done as it was widely used at the time to address different crisis notably the Iranian crisis which happened in 1979. In 1991, the Susan G Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants during its New York City race. This marked the first use of the pink ribbon to become an identity not only for marking the breast cancer awareness month but to act as the “candle of light” for breast cancer survivors.

In 1993, the Senior Corporate Vice President of Estee Lauder companies, Evelyn Lauder started the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. During this time, she established the use of the pink ribbon as the symbol for breast cancer.

History of the Pink Ribbon

Since the beginning, the use of the pink ribbon to signify breast cancer and its awareness has been embroiled in controversy. Every October of every year, women around the world adorn the ribbon proudly as a way of giving thanks to the symbol.

Pink Ribbon Wristbands

It is noted that during the 70s and early 90s, ribbons were widely used when it came to addressing a particular crisis. In 1979, Penney Laingen, the wife of a hostage taken in Iran became inspired by a song which led to her tying yellow ribbons on trees close to her home. During media coverage of the event, it was revealed that Penney Laingen did so to signify the wish for her husband’s release. When this happened, the ribbon suddenly changed from a piece of fabric to a powerful medium that can be used to convey messages.

11 years after the Penney Laingen event, AIDs activists looked at the yellow ribbons that were now resurrected by the soldiers fighting in the Gulf war. Visual AIDs which was an activist art group decided to turn the ribbons into bright red color with the purpose of creating awareness about AIDs. The red ribbon was looped, spruced up and pinned on Jeremy Irons, an actor at the national stage during the Tony Awards. This is how the red ribbon became to be an identity for the Worlds AIDs day as well as creating awareness about the condition.

In 1991, the Susan G Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants during its New York City race. This marked the first use of the pink ribbon to become an identity not only for marking the breast cancer awareness month but to also act as the “candle of light” for breast cancer survivors.

In 1993, the Senior Corporate Vice President of Estee Lauder companies, Evelyn Lauder started the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. During this time, she established the use of the pink ribbon as the symbol for breast cancer.

The color pink was chosen because it is a quintessential female color. It is playful, life affirming with quieting effects plus it lessens stress. Furthermore, pastel pink has been found to be health giving thus the reason why pink ribbons are used to signify breast cancer awareness.

Breast Cancer Football Wear

During the month of October, people around the world celebrate breast cancer awareness month. It is common to see teams playing in the youth league, high school, college and even the professional league showing their support to breast cancer. They do this by putting on sporting apparel that is pink in color. Even the referees have not been left behind and it is common to find some of them during the month of October using pink whistles instead of the normal metallic or black colored whistles.

There are several sporting apparels that can be worn to show support for breast cancer awareness month. They include wristbands, sweatbands, mouth guards, headbands, arm sleeve, socks and football laces among others. You can shop for the above breast cancer awareness football gear at Suddora. The wrist bands and sweat bands can have the pink ribbon imprinted on the front as a way of showing support to breast cancer awareness month.

For the socks and arm sleeves used by football players, they are designed in pink color as a way of showing support to the month of breast cancer awareness too. The pink ribbon can also be imprinted on them to complete the look. A good example of how football organizations support breast cancer awareness month is the campaign started by the National Football League (NFL).

In 2009, the NFL founded the “A Crucial Catch campaign” which had the purpose of raising awareness about breast cancer through the promotion of breast cancer screening. During this month, the team members participating in a match get to display the color pink by wearing selected sporting apparel.

The items worn by the team are usually auctioned on the official NFL Auction site where the proceeds go towards organizations like the American Cancer Society with the purpose of furthering awareness for the rest of the year and into other regions as well.

Since the inception of the campaign, over $7 million has been raised for the support of programs which include the community health advocates national grants for empowerment (CHANGE) program. The program helps to provide breast cancer screening to women who are uninsured and under insured. It also provides the same services to those who don’t have access to screening services.

As a football player playing in high school, college, the youth and professional leagues, it is wise this October to show your support for breast cancer awareness month. You can show your support when playing the game by wearing one of the following clothing apparels.

Sweatband set, wristbands, football towels, mouth guards, headbands, arm sleeve pair, socks and football laces which should be pink in color with the ribbon supporting breast cancer awareness imprinted on them.

How to Perform A Breast Self Exam

Breast Cancer awareness month cannot go by without helping men and women learn how they can be able to conduct a breast self exam. Here are locations where you can perform the exam at the comfort of your home.

1. In front of your bedroom mirror

Majority of homes are fitted with a full length mirror that allows the occupants to have a look at how the clothes or shoes they are wearing fit them. If a home does not have a full length mirror, others come with mirrors fitted on the closet door or are designed as standalone models. Regardless of the full or half length mirror available in your home, you can use it to help you conduct a breast self exam.

The first thing you need to do is strip your upper clothes. Proceed by visually inspecting your breasts with your arms at your sides. Once you have done so, begin by raising your arms overhead in order to have a better view of the sides.

What you need to be looking for during this time is any form of swelling or dimpling on the skin. You should also look at the changes on the nipples. Once you have done so, you can rest your palms on your hips and proceed to press them firmly. This will flex your chest muscles. Since the left and right breasts do not exactly match, you can be able to identify any dimpling, puckering or changes on the side.

2. In the shower

Just like your bedroom, the shower area offers you privacy which makes it a perfect place for conducting a breast self exam to identify any lumps. For starters, use the pads of your fingers in order to identify any changes around the breast. The reason for doing so is because the fingers are lined with thousands of sensory nerves which are sensitive to any changes.

Move the pads of your fingers around the entire breast. Do this in a circular motion starting from the outside towards the center. Check the entire breast as well as the armpit area. It is important to check both breasts every month for any lumps, thickening or hardened knot. If you notice any changes, you need to seek help from an experienced physician close to you.

3. Lie on a flat surface

You can choose your bed as the platform where you will conduct the check. Your back should be on the mattress while you face upwards towards the ceiling. When in this position, your breast tissues will spread out evenly along the chest wall.

Proceed by placing a pillow under the right shoulder and the right arm behind your head. With the left hand, move the pads of your fingers over the right breast before proceeding to the left breast. To ensure a thorough check, you need to move your fingers in small circular motions. They should cover the entire breast area as well as the arm pits.

So, what should happen if your fingers come across a lump? The first thing you should do is not to panic. There are times when the body swells due to blockage in the lymphatic vessels. This will form a lump around the arm pit but just to be on the safe side, you need to make an appointment with an experienced physician.

At the physician’s office, a mammogram screening will be conducted in order to provide further insight about the problem. If malignant cells are detected, the physician will provide the necessary treatment to help treat the condition.

Remember, early detection prevents the onset of breast cancer. Learn more here.

Final Thoughts

Every year, women, government agencies, football teams and fans show their support towards breast cancer awareness month. October of every year has been marked as the Breast cancer awareness month and during this time; the pink ribbon is used to mark the event.

Football teams in high school, college, youth and pro leagues are not left behind. There are several apparels they can wear and show their support for breast cancer awareness. They include wristbands, headbands, socks, football shoe laces, towels and arm sleeve pair. To top it all, a pink ribbon can be pinned on the football jersey.

This coming October as a football player, you don’t have to be left out. Shop for the best breast cancer football gear at Suddora to show support for breast cancer awareness month.