With catchy slogans like “Save the Ta-Tas” and “Fight like a Girl,” the reason to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October is all about knowledge as power. While there are many ways that people can promote, fundraise for, and celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it all comes down to one thing: Early detection. The best way to achieve that? Awareness!
According to the National Cancer Institute, “When breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.”
Here are some more facts about breast cancer, via the World Health Organization:
- By a wide margin, it’s the most common cancer in women worldwide.
- New cases each year = 1.39 million
- Resulting deaths each year = 458,000
- Early detection remains the “cornerstone of breast cancer control”!
- Low- and middle-income countries account for the majority of deaths, due to less awareness and lack of and/or lack of access to health services — resulting in less early detection.
As a nurse, you are likely fully aware of the major benefits of early detection. And, in your line of work, you are in a unique position to spread the word and help raise awareness in others in a way that can have a major, positive impact. What’s more, because of your expertise, people are more likely to listen to you!
Here are some ways that you can foster awareness and celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
- Talk, talk, talk! Whether it’s in speaking with a patient or even making a post on social media, most people are more likely to take your advice — as a healthcare provider — to heart. Encourage self-exams, mammograms when appropriate, and healthy lifestyle choices — down with smoking and drinking to excess, and up with physical activity, whole foods, and weight control!
- Share resources. Send people to sites like Beyond the Shock, which offers videos and other content that helps people learn about breast cancer, ask questions and get answers, benefit from others’ questions, hear stories from real people who have been affected by breast cancer, and more.
- Let your clothes and accessories do the talking. Wearing breast cancer awareness scrubs, and other clothes and accessories, sends a message and supports the cause without you saying a word. Check out some of these great options from Tafford Uniforms. (Subscribe to Travel Nursing Blogs updates on our home page to get exclusive monthly discounts from Tafford!)
Finally, just continue being the great, supportive, awesome nurse that you are! Your presence when someone is facing tests or a breast cancer fight is immeasurably helpful. I know from personal experience — I will never forget the amazing nurse who helped me prepare for and get through on the day of the breast biopsy I had to have in 2013. (No cancer was found, thankfully.) I am forever grateful to that fantastic nurse who helped me keep it together on one of the scariest days of my life — and also to all of you wonderful nurses as we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month!