October is here again, and you know what that means: it's time to get out my pink wardrobe and see the world through rose-colored glasses. Time to hope that we can make a difference. Time to hope that there will be a day when they find a cure.
To be perfectly honest, sometimes I wonder if things will get better. When you look at the statistics on breast cancer, it's easy to be discouraged.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Just under 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers.
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- About 39,520 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer.
I was so lucky that the lump my doctor found last year turned out to be benign, but I've had friends and relatives battle breast cancer -- and not all of them have won. What on earth can wearing pink actually do in the grand scheme of things. It's such a BIG disease. What can one person really do?
That's what I say when I'm feeling selfish and thinking only of myself, worrying about my family's cancer history and fretting that it's just a matter of time before I get the disease myself. But when I think of what people who have breast cancer are actually going through, I get over my pity party pretty quickly. These people have to endure pain, nausea, weakness, financial stress, worry, loss of pride, loss of independence, loss of hair, loss of vanity. Compared to all of that, brainstorming ways to help them seems like a piece of cake.
But what can one person do? Well, scientists are smart people. They are making breakthroughs all the time -- they just need the resources to help them along. Also, there are hundreds of thousands of men and women who could use a helpful hand as they fight their battles with breast cancer. One person may not seem like much, but there are 300 million of these "one persons" in the US and together we can help scientists and sufferers alike. Here are some ways to do just that:
- Knit a scarf or a blanket or a hat to comfort a patient who is enduring chemo.
- Deliver a meal to a friend with cancer who's too nauseous to get off the sofa, let along cook for her kids.
- Help raise funds for cancer charities by encouraging others to donate and/or donating yourself.
- Volunteer your time for an breast cancer charity -- lick envelopes, hand out water at a charity run, anything helps.
- Support brands and companies that donate money to breast cancer research, awareness or patient programs.
- If you have a blog, BLOG about Breast Cancer Awareness -- why it's so important to be aware, how you can help. Don't be afraid of turning your blog pink! Spread the word and pass it on!
- Sometimes the person you can help the most is YOURSELF. Educate yourself about breast cancer! And if you're forty and over, or have a family history of breast cancer, make sure you get a mammogram.
So I guess I'll keep on wearing pink after all. Because if even one person stops by my blog and sees me dressed YET AGAIN in pink, if even one person thinks to herself, Pink isn't really her color, or What kind of person has so many pink things in her wardrobe? -- if all that pink helps her remember it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that she'd better schedule her mammogram pronto, then I'll be happy.
If you work on behalf of a company doing anything or selling any product that benefits breast cancer research, leave me a comment or send me an email; I'd love to feature you on my review blog. you're doing anything on your blog to help raise awareness for breast cancer this month, leave a comment; I'd love to stop by your blog and leave a comment to cheer on your efforts.