October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While October is also considered Energy Awareness Month, National Spinal Health Month, National AIDS Awareness month and Down Syndrome Awareness Month, this post is dedicated to my grandpa, Art Wallace, who is currently battling Breast Cancer.

I believe that when you want to show support for a cause, your support must be wholehearted – if you truly believe in something and want to show support or help those in need, the commitment of your actions must match or exceed the conviction of your words. While I recognize that “Liking” and “Sharing” on Facebook and other social media helps spread awareness and empathy, I personally do not feel that these actions are enough. This personal opinion is why I’ve compiled a list of Seven Ways to Show Support for Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention.

One – Educate Yourself – What do you know about Komen?

The Susan G. Komen organization is one of the most popular breast cancer organizations out there but that attention isn’t all positive.
Lisa B Adams – Why I Divorced Susan G Komen

If you are uncomfortable with the negative press this organization has garnered, turn your attention to the other six ideas on this list, but I do want to point out that there are fact sheets and statistics provided on the following Susan G. Komen site that are still helpful. For example, many people don’t associate breast cancer with men, but according to the fact sheet over two thousand men are affected by this disease every year.
Fact Sheets and Stats

TWO – Save 2nd Base!

For the love of baseball, this is my favorite organization dedicated to breast cancer awareness and prevention. Inspired by the humor of Kelly Rooney, Save 2nd Base (“Pink with a Wink”), this organization was founded by Kelly’s husband and is run with the help of her sister and friend. You can read the Kelly Rooney story here: Save 2nd Base Story

Every purchase of S2B merchandise goes to the Kelly Rooney Foundation and goes directly toward funding breast cancer research (through the University of Pennsylvania) and raising awareness (through BreastCancer.org). There is a video that explains how this non-profit organization uses the merchandise proceeds here: Kelly Rooney Foundation

With the baseball world series and the holiday season rapidly approaching, I encourage everyone to find one item on S2B for just one person in their life. S2B Store

THREE – Learn How to Lower Your Risk

At Breastcancer.org/ there are several pages on topics such as symptoms and diagnosis, treatment and side effects, day-to-day matters and lowering risk. While there is no guarantee that any particular actions can prevent cancer, there are several small habits you can adopt to lower your risk. Instead of saying “don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t skip breakfast, don’t get less than 7 hours of sleep a night” this site provides more constructive information on the difference between relative risk and absolute risk. Understanding this difference can help one better understand his or her risk of breast cancer. After all, what good is it to hope for a cure if we do not also take action to lower our risk of developing the disease?

You can explore the many factors that influence risk here: Breast Cancer Risk Information

FOUR – Lower Your Risk (the sequel to Step Three!)

After learning how to lower your risk, it’s time to pick one risk factor and commit to reducing it. On the BreastCancer.org site BreastCancer.org Risk Factors there’s a free booklet that outlines 31 risk-reducing steps – pick one and commit to it, wholeheartedly.

Think Pink, Live Green: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer teaches you the biology of breast development and how modern life affects breast cancer risk. Download the PDF of the booklet to learn 31 risk-reducing steps you can take today.

FIVE – Check Out Those Apples

Christina Applegate is a strong advocate for breast cancer screening. Applegate established Right Action for Women to raise awareness about breast cancer risk and to make screening more accessible. Right Action for Women provides assistance to women who are at increased risk for breast cancer and need help covering the high costs associated with breast screenings.
ABOUT-Right Action For Women

If you or a loved one are worried about how to get/pay for breast cancer screening, this site has a wealth of advice and information. Part of beating breast cancer is catching it early, so making these screenings accessible to all who need them is vital.

SIX – Volunteer with the American Cancer Society

One of the more popular ways to raise funding for cancer research involves an athletic event of some kind, but there are other ways to support the cause. The American Cancer Society “Get Involved” site features many different ways to pitch in and show support, from donating time and/or money to writing to a politician, to sending an e-card to someone affected by cancer.
Get Involved with Cancer.org

SEVEN – Stand up

Stand Up To Cancer is an organization dedicated specifically to funding cancer research. They don’t spend their money on athletic events or attorney fees (that I’m aware of but someone PLEASE correct me if I’m mistaken). As explained on their site, 100% of public funds go directly into research grants. To donate to SU2C or to learn more about why they’re different, here’s their site: Stand Up To Cancer-About Us

MORE USEFUL LINKS:

Awareness Calendar-Causes by Month, Week and Day
Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

Keep a Breast
American Cancer Society Resources

Art Nana

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