2020 has been a powerful reminder that we are all in this together. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, in this week’s blog, we’ve decided to zero-in on the important conversation surrounding women’s health and breast cancer awareness.
Here at WellBe, we’re asking everyone to stand proudly in pink this month and wear their ribbons with pride. From regular self-examination techniques to discuss the top three ways that you can support these brave women facing breast cancer every day, we cover it all in this week’s blog.
What is breast cancer awareness month?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual international health campaign that aims to increase awareness about breast cancer, as well as encourage early detection, greater access to treatment and better palliative care.
This awesome effort to raise awareness is a great way to reduce the stigma surrounding breast cancer and inspire a culture that encourages women of all ages to speak openly about their health struggles and their experience with this disease. This month is all about working towards educating each other about early detection of breast cancer and possible treatments for the 1.38 million women who are diagnosed with breast cancer around the world each year.
This October, we strive to start helping women of all ages, races, income groups and nationalities to access better screening opportunities, treatment and support.
It seems that female health (especially when it comes to topics such as female breasts) is still a subject that just doesn’t get enough attention. That’s why, this week, we’re digging into our easy-to-understand self-examination guide that will give you some handy tips and simple techniques when conducting a thorough breast exam.
What is a breast exam?
A breast self-exam is an inspection of your breasts that you do on your own. Breast exams matter because they help you detect any unusual changes or abnormal lumps in your breast, and this self-screening process is vital for catching any possible health issue early. The best thing to do is start talking to a health professional immediately about an appropriate course of action moving forward since early detection is the key to a higher chance of success when starting treatment.
How do you perform a breast exam?
- Start by looking facing the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Use your hands to press around your breast firmly to determine if there are any changes to the look and feel of your breasts.
- Now, raise your arms and look for any unusual changes in your breast – such as abnormal swelling or any unusual shape or colour. Breasts that have visible distortion or swelling could also indicate a possible cancerous lump, so be sure to inform you or doctor about any changes you may notice.
- Next, feel your breasts while lying down by placing three or four fingers flat together. Move your fingers in a circular motion as you press them into your skin. Be sure that you always cover the entire breast from top to bottom and side to side.
- A cancerous lump may feel rounded, soft, and tender and can occur anywhere in the breast. In some cases, the lump can even be painful, so it’s a good idea to inform our doctor about any extra sensitivity you may experience.
If you notice any new changes to your breasts, the first thing you should do is discuss these with your doctor. Keep in mind that most breast changes detected during self-exams are benign, but some changes may signal something serious so it’s better to always check-in and make sure that there’s no cause for concern.
How you can help
No one is ready to receive the news that they have breast cancer. But our choices have the ability to empower and assist women struggling with breast cancer everywhere. We can make small but impactful changes to ensure that all women are able to access the right support, treatment and screening methods when facing this diagnosis.
- Donate online
Making a one-time or monthly donation to help an organisation such as CANSA or PinkDrive will enable these non-profit organisations to continue the great work that they are doing. By helping these organisations secure better funding for research programs, support groups and awareness campaigns, you can help women suffering from cancer to receive better access to screening, treatments and emotional support programs.
- Educate yourself and others
One of the best ways to show support and raise awareness for breast cancer is to openly encourage the conversation surrounding female health.
By encouraging widespread education about women’s health and breast cancer, we can all help bring about earlier detection, better treatment and more support for those suffering from breast cancer.
This can be as simple as educating yourself about the signs, causes and treatments of breast cancer using the CANSA WEBSITE or by helping promote breast cancer awareness in universities or in your workplace. This is especially important since 30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged between 20 and 50.
- Emotional support
Most people diagnosed with breast cancer will experience a range of conflicting emotions, and coping with the diagnosis can be difficult. Offering emotional support to a loved one experiencing this diagnosis is one of the most important ways to assist any individual struggling with this disease.
But support isn’t confined to assisting only those who you know and love. You can support women with breast cancer everywhere by doing simple things such as volunteering at a breast cancer foundation, spreading the word about Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even hosting a virtual fundraiser to raise money for organisations dedicated to cancer support and treatment.
WellBe&Co and women’s health
While there is no single food or supplement that could prevent breast cancer from forming, but the way we eat and the way we treat our body matters.
Regular exercise, eating well and trying to keep our stress levels low is the perfect way to ensure that we stay as healthy and strong as possible so that we are ready to face any health issues we may encounter in our lives. At WellBe, we encourage all-around wellness and specialize in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions.
When it comes to developing healthy eating habits to keep your immune system strong and your energy high, our healthy recipes will show you how to stick to a sustainable way of eating while still enjoying the finer foods in life. Simple, nutritious and delicious is our recipe motto.
We also focus on a range of effective exercise & training guides for beginners, intermediate level and advanced fitness fanatics – as well as everyone in between! With our 12-week training guide, you’ll receive the top workout tips and tricks that will show you how to be more effective in your training and increase your daily dose of sweaty endorphins.