About one in eight women born in the United States will develop breast cancer, per healthfinder.gov.
With statistics like these, it’s important to spread awareness about breast cancer screenings. And since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a great time get involved and make a difference in your community.
Let’s discuss the importance of early breast cancer detection and ways you can help your community.
Importance of Breast Cancer Screenings
According to breastcancer.org‘s U.S. 2017 statistics, they estimate there will be 253,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women in 2018. Also, they estimate there will be 63,410 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer in women. Additionally, if a woman’s mother, sister, or daughter has or has had breast cancer, their chance of developing it almost doubles.
But just because you don’t have a family history of it doesn’t mean that you aren’t at risk. About 85% of breast cancers develop in women who have no family history of it, per breastcancer.org.
Along with family history, there are many other factors that contribute to your risk of developing breast cancer, including:
- Gender — females have a higher risk, although males also have a risk
- Age — older women have a higher risk, particularly women 55 and older
- Genetic mutations
- Past personal history
- Not enough exercise
- And others
Gender and age are the top risk factors, but obviously, these things cannot be changed. There are, however, some risk factors that you have control of — such as getting more exercise and not smoking. You also can be a step ahead by regularly getting mammograms after age 40.
How to Raise Breast Cancer Awareness
There are many ways your funeral home can help raise awareness about early breast cancer detection.
For example, here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration:
- Ask your local doctors and nurses to talk to your community about the importance of getting screenings.
- Encourage women age 40 and older to talk to their doctors about getting screenings.
- Organize fundraising events, such as a bake sale or craft sale, to raise money for breast cancer research, finding a cure, and families who’ve lost someone to breast cancer.
- Plan a pink-out walk/run where everyone wears pink to honor their loved ones and raise awareness — plus the money raised can go to breast cancer research and families in need.
- Give out pink ribbons at your funeral home for everyone to show their support and further raise awareness.
- Invite families to your funeral home for an informational dinner about the importance of getting screenings.
- Host educational classes for your community about possible breast cancer prevention and early detection.
- Volunteer at your local hospital or clinic with your funeral home’s staff.
Resources for Your Families and Community
Along with getting involved, your funeral home can provide your families and community with informational resources:
- Create an informational brochure about early breast cancer detection.
- Also, create brochures about coping with breast cancer and mourning a loss.
- Share informational posts on your funeral home’s social media pages. And on Twitter and Instagram, don’t forget to use relevant hashtags such as #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth and #ThinkPink.
- Team up with your local doctors and nurses to create an educational guide.
- Write a blog post or share information about Breast Cancer Awareness Month on your website.
For more breast cancer awareness ideas, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s website.
For families who have lost a loved one to breast cancer, these are some memorialization ideas you can share with them:
- Create a special memento, such as a pink memorial frame.
- Start a tradition to honor them, such as a family remembrance dinner.
- Visit their gravesite, ash scattering spot, or another meaningful spot.
- Participate in a breast cancer walk/run in their honor.
Along with the memorial ideas above, some ways your funeral home can help memorialize their loved ones are:
- Donate to breast cancer research in honor of their loved one.
- Host a remembrance dinner in October to honor families’ loved ones.
- Send families a remembrance card in the mail signed by your funeral home’s staff.
- Give them a special memorial gift engraved with their loved one’s name and birth and death dates.
How does your funeral home get involved and spread awareness about breast cancer screenings? Share your breast cancer awareness ideas in the comments below!