October is upon us and it's a good reminder to women everywhere to get their annual mammograms. That's right it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer across the United States this year, worse; approximately 43,000 will die as a result of being afflicted with the disease.
Here are some additional breast cancer statistics:
- One in eight women either will develop breast cancer in her lifetime
- Breast cancer tends to strike women of African and Latino heritage at an earlier age (even though incidence is 12% lower compared to Caucasian women)
- Unbelievable to many men, approximately 1,600 men will become breast cancer victims as well, with about 400 diagnoses resulting in death
- Still, 13 million American women, in the 40 years of age or older range, have never had a mammogram to screen for breast cancer
- All women should have a mammogram every one to two years if they are 40 years of age or over
- If breast cancer runs in your family, women should talk to their doctor about getting yearly mammogram starting at age 30
- If your mother or sister had breast cancer, you should demand a yearly mammogram starting at age 30
- Women who are 50 years of age or older should make a mammogram an annual event
- Women who are 20 years of age or older should have a clinical breast exam as part of their yearly physical exam, at least once per year
- All women should perform monthly self-exams on a weekly basis
The sad truth is that mammograms do save lives, and if breast cancer is detected early, 95 percent of those diagnosed would live. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet women are still not getting them.
Why? You might think the main reason is health care funding, but it's not poor access to health care that's to blame! The real reason is that there is purely not enough money for public education.
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many women schedule their annual mammograms during the month to make it easier to remember. Others make mammogram appointments on or near their birthdays.
Now if you belong to a charity organization that supports breast cancer awareness, then you probably had your fundraising ideas in the works long ago. However many organizations would still like to raise money for the cause, and raise money for breast cancer research and education when they read statistics like those you see above.
You may have seen national retail stores marketing pink-themed products over the last few years. Every time a pink product is purchased – be it a makeup bag, purse, scarf or t-shirt – a portion of the proceeds are donated by the merchant to the breast cancer organization of their choice.
How to Get in the Pink: Raising Money for Breast Cancer
If you, or your organization, are interested in becoming part of the pink trend, it is easy to purchase pink-themed products from retailers – either online or by visiting a large local retailer and speaking to them about product purchase.
When it comes to choosing the pink products you will sell, consumer goods in pink run the gamut from clothes, home decor, personal items, jewelry, appliances and even food and pet accessories. And if you are just starting, you are in luck – because everything is pink during the month of October!
However, if you are not interested in pedaling pink merchandise, you and your organization can still become involved in non-selling fundraisers for breast cancer.
Get In the Pink: The Non-Selling Advocates
Here are some fun and unique ideas for holding a breast cancer fundraiser, without the pressure of selling products. Let's face it, many of us are not born sales people, however we still want to support our local hospitals and women's clinics.
The following are some ways to support the cause – and have fun in the process!
- Hold a pink hat party at work – Invite everyone to wear pink clothing and hats, and host the party complete with pink foods and drinks
- Organize a pink dance – Open your organization to a pink dance. Sell tickets to support breast cancer and have everyone wear pink clothing – you can even serve a pink signature drink (can anyone say Cosmopolitans)
- Hold a pink game show – This is a great option for students and schools because you can tailor to trivia questions to pink-specific items and offer pink prizes!
- Make pink tie-dye shirts – Everyone brings a t-shirt and donates $5 to use the tie-dye supplies to make their own pink t-shirt in support of breast cancer
Whatever you do in the pink to support the cause of breast cancer, remember that you are helping to raise vital funds that will educate the public, provide awareness and support to those suffering from breast cancer, and provide funds to update breast screening equipment at local hospitals and clinics.
If you are still unsure of how you can support breast cancer awareness, please visit the following Web sites: