For nearly 30 years, October has been recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This annual observance is a lifesaving exercise in awareness through visibility and education.
About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point in their lifetime, but the good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. That is why doing regular self exams and annual mammograms — the most common screening test for breast cancer — are so important.
Throughout October, a number of organizations will be hosting events and fundraisers. Chief among them is the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, which this year is set for Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Meyer Amphitheatre in downtown West Palm Beach.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, which draws millions of participants each year at walks all across the nation, has been run by the American Cancer Society since 1993. For more than 20 years, the event has galvanized communities into raising money to support local programs and finding better treatments and an eventual cure for the disease.
Everyone is touched by breast cancer in some way, whether personally or having a family member, friend, neighbor or colleague suffer from it. Making Strides is a way to empower people to not only fight back against the disease, but join together to support survivors and those who are still struggling.
There are also many other groups supporting breast cancer patients and survivors here in the western communities. Your Bosom Buddies II, a breast cancer support group, meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Palms West Hospital. The group is open to everyone and there is no membership fee or need to RSVP. Learn more about the group at www.yourbosombuddies2.org.
Palms West Hospital has organized a entire women’s health seminar series to coincide with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, leading up to the hospital’s big Pink Fling event on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Learn more at www.palmswesthospital.com/pinkfling.
Then, of course, there is the ever-growing list of stores and restaurants that support the fight against breast cancer with special promotions each October. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Do your part to make a difference. Spread the word about mammograms and get involved in the cause.