Get Educated

Amanda Miller, Reporter

The month of October is tinted pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and women everywhere are educating themselves on the most diagnosed cancer among women in the United States. According to The American Cancer Society, only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths among American women. One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, and once you’ve got it getting rid of it is a long, painful process. That’s why prevention is key. Men, did you know you can get breast cancer too. This disease doesn’t discriminate; age, race, and gender are all thrown out the window. If you have breast tissue, you can get breast cancer.

 

Get Educated

First, one must recognize some factors that may contribute to a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer, like aging. Although you are never too young for breast cancer, the risk increases with age, and women over 30 are more likely to get the disease than younger women. Genetics and family history are another factor. Although only five to ten percent of breast cancer has a hereditary link, some women may inherit abnormal genes that increase their risk. White women are also more likely to get breast cancer then women of other races. Women with dense breast tissue are also more likely to get breast cancer. Unfortunately, these factors are uncontrollable, but there are some steps you can take to lower your risk.

Don’t smoke. Smoking, or inhaling others’ smoke can increase your risk by 60 percent. Eat well. Keeping a high fiber, low fat diet and eating less red meat (beef, veal, lamb, pork, goat, ect.) can decrease your risk by up to 88 percent. Get active. Getting 30 minutes of aerobic activity three to five times a week can lower your risk by 30 to 50 percent. Even being careful when cleaning can lower your risk. Only 30 percent of petrochemicals used in household cleaning have been tested for human and environmental safety. Instead of using bleach and chemical based cleaning solution, try using lemon, baking soda, and vinegar to clean your house, or use non toxic alternatives. Stay away from plastic! They gradually leak chemicals into everything they come in contact with, and if you can’t stay away, be safe about using them; look for “BPA-free” on the label. Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used when making hard plastics, mimics estrogen, and is linked to breast cancer. Also, be sure to check yourself regularly. You can download a card, and get instructions on how to check yourself, at the Keep  A Breast website (www.keep-a-breast.org), or visit your doctor to schedule a mammogram.

 

Get Involved!

The Keep A Breast Campaign offers many ways that you can get involved and help spread the word. They offer opportunities to join the Keep A Breast Family by donating, joining their online community, volunteering at their traveling education booth. (Which will be coming to Denver on November 12, 2012 on Pierce the Veil’s “Collide with the Sky Tour”), or joining their Awareness Street Team. You can also find their merchandise (shirts, bracelets, belts, etc.) at your local Zumies or Tillys. The Susan G. Koman foundation also offers events to participate in, such as the Race for The Cure, which happens all over the country.