Supporting Seniors During Breast Cancer Awareness Month
18 October 2021
October is upon us and that means it is once again National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Millions of people across the country work together this month to help build awareness for this disease and support cancer survivors. Breast cancer affects around 1 in 8 women within the United States and leads to over 40,000 deaths every year.
It is much more prevalent in women than men, and women over 50 years of age are the most at risk. In fact, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among elderly women. The older a woman becomes, the higher her chances of getting diagnosed with this disease. Sadly, over half of new breast cancer diagnoses are given to women over the age of 60.
Thankfully, early detection can help increase the odds of survival from breast cancer. This makes it important to help educate women, and older women in particular about their risks. During this month, you might see lots of pink as different people and organizations try to raise awareness on various aspects of breast cancer such as treatments, prevention methods, and research opportunities.
So what can you do to help support these efforts as an individual? We’ve outlined some great ways to do exactly that, keep reading to learn more!
Help Educate Others
At the core of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the potential to educate more people about this dangerous disease. Helping others understand the risks involved and ways to prevent serious illness can be very valuable. Many women that are not aware may otherwise get blindsided by a diagnosis and miss the chance to detect breast cancer at an early stage. Early detection can help increase survival rates among breast cancer patients and prevent death.
Make it easier for your community members to understand why it’s so important to get mammograms as needed. You can help them find clinics that provide free screenings to show them that getting checked out is a great idea. It is also vital to show women how to self-check for any abnormalities that may have developed in their breasts.
Self-exams are easy to do and experts recommend checking breasts every month by touch and visually. Women should keep track of any changes in how their breasts may feel or look. Taking these steps can make a big difference in catching symptoms early on and increase the chances of treating breast cancer successfully.
Volunteer or Fundraise
Another great way to get involved during the month of October is by volunteering with organizations that help raise awareness for breast cancer. These wonderful groups of people help support survivors, existing breast cancer patients, and promising research programs for the future. Volunteers play a big role in helping care for people at hospitals, putting together care kits, and assisting at important events.
Fundraising is another popular way to participate in breast cancer awareness. There are so many fundraising walks, runs, and events that help raise money for breast cancer research, education, and legislation. Doing so can bring much-needed resources and attention to this important cause.
Remind Loved Ones to Stay Healthy
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a smart way to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and preventing serious health problems from arising. Checking in on any unhealthy habits that may have developed recently is a great activity to take on during the month of October. For example, seniors can look at how active they’ve been lately and whether their nutrition levels could be improved.
Reducing alcohol intake can also be helpful, as women that consume three or more alcoholic beverages a week have a 15% higher risk of developing breast cancer. In general, giving your lifestyle a healthy boost this month can go a long way in reducing cancer risk and in preventing other health problems.
In conclusion, there are many wonderful ways to support seniors during National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Get out there and volunteer or fundraise with some great organizations that are shedding light on this disease.
Help seniors and women in your community understand the important role mammograms and self-examinations play in early detection and high survival rates. Finally, help seniors and loved ones evaluate their lifestyle and check in on healthy habits that could be implemented to boost their chances of preventing disease formation.
For more questions about getting a loved one caregiver support, please contact us by clicking here.