(StatePoint) Unfortunately, too many of us know someone - a family member, friend or colleague - who is affected by breast cancer. In fact, breast cancer accounts for nearly one in three cancers diagnosed in U.S. women, according to the American Cancer Society.
Since there is no cure for breast cancer, much more needs to be done in the fight against this life-threatening disease.
There are several easy ways you can make a difference this October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and beyond:
Get the Word Out
Awareness is crucial to early diagnosis and timely treatment. Talk to your sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts and friends about scheduling annual checkups and diagnostic tests.
Since genetics can play a factor, sharing your medical history with your family is especially important. Use free web services, such as the government’s Family Health Portrait tool, available at www.familyhistory.hhs.gov, to collect this information and help your health care provider formulate a prevention plan.
Show Your Support
Beyond spreading the word, there are easy ways you can support the fight against breast cancer – from your grocery store list to fundraisers and more.
First, look for your favorite brands that are giving back to the cause. For example, Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water is supporting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) through its Pink Pack program. Every package of Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water marked with a pink ribbon represents a donation to BCRF, with a minimum of $750,000 this year.
BCRF is dedicated to breast cancer research that will ultimately help lead to prevention and a cure. Currently, 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs, such as one of the grants that Nestlé Pure Life is helping to fund, aimed at findings drugs to prevent breast cancer in those with the BRCA-mutation. To join Nestlé Pure Life in supporting BCRF and make a direct donation supporting research efforts, visit www.bcrfcure.org.
Another easy -- and fun -- way to show your support and raise funds year round is by participating in walks and runs. Gather a group of friends and family and find a local walk or race that raises funds for an organization tied to research or finding a cure. It’s a meaningful way to get directly involved.
BCRF-funded research has indicated that there is a positive relationship between exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and breast cancer risk.
Among other things, it is important to maintain a healthy body weight through exercise and a well-balanced diet. One weight maintenance trick is to stay hydrated and eat plenty of fiber-rich foods like almonds, beans and apples, which make you feel full and can help you avoid overeating.
This Breast Cancer Awareness month, there are many great ways to support causes that fight this all-too-common, life-threatening disease. Find out more by visiting www.cancer.org.