Just behind skin cancer, breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born in the United States today will get breast cancer at some point. The good news? Many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. A mammogram, the screening test for breast cancer, can help.

That’s why the month of October is dedicated to spreading the word about early detection screenings. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection.

Here are a few ways to make a difference during October:

Lead by example. As a grandmother, mother, daughter, aunt, and friend, set an example for the women around you. Early detection is key to becoming a breast cancer survivor. Schedule your own mammogram, and encourage friends and family members to also get screened.

If you aren’t sure at what age you should start having mammograms, check with your doctor. For a while, it was recommended that women receive a mammogram every year or every other year after the age of forty. However, new studies have come out claiming that women can wait until fifty. If your family has a history of breast cancer, your doctor might want you to begin your screenings earlier than forty.

If breast cancer awareness is something you are passionate about, there are several ways you can put your passion in to action. For instance, ask your co-workers to take part in a Breast Cancer 5K or walk that is happening near you. Put a canister in your break room that explains what you are fundraising for. If you are part of a church family, suggest having a bake sale where all of the proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Fund or the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Talk about it, whether it is in the office newsletter, in person, or on social media. Sometimes a kind message is just what a person needs when battling cancer. Let breast cancer fighters and survivors know that you are thinking of and supporting them. Pay tribute to those who have lost their battles.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. By talking about breast cancer and getting your mammogram yearly, you can help bring that number down.

If you’d like to talk with Reka, you can reach her at 402-881-8125. You can also email her at reka@omaha-counseling.com. Make sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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