Today is October 1, and there are so many things to celebrate this month! Before I get carried away – I want to remind you all that the first of the month is a great time to schedule or do your preventative screenings including your breast self-exam! Performance of routine self-exams help to identify cancerous tumors in earlier stages and can save your life! Go ahead and #FeelItOnTheFirst, and if you haven’t yet, schedule your annual mammogram!
Fun fact: 40% of all breast cancers are discovered by a self-exam!1
October has always been one of my favorite months for many reasons, but as a pelvic floor PT, I am thrilled that I get to celebrate National Physical Therapy Month and Breast Cancer Awareness month in one shot! I consider myself an “educator” by nature, and I always look forward to sharing information with my family and friends about the benefits of physical therapy, especially for our breast cancer thrivers and survivors.
I have several posts lined up for the next few weeks regarding breast cancer surgery, rehabilitation, and complications as well as some common pelvic floor concerns during breast cancer treatment. I look forward to sharing how a physical therapist can play an important role for our oncology patients as I experience my first Breast Cancer Awareness Month as someone living through breast cancer.
I also wanted to bring some awareness to something I hadn’t really given any thought to before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s no secret that every October, things turn pink all over the place. I’m talking pink products in stores, pink foods, pink cleats in the NFL…you catch the drift. Companies all over the place are eager to jump on board with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and yet, not all of these companies have the best intentions in mind.
In fact, many companies profit tremendously by slapping a pink label on their product and saying that a certain amount of proceeds go to breast cancer research. We call this “pinkwashing,” and as it turns out, many companies are capitalizing on this terrible disease and only donate a small portion of their sales (or none at all) to support breast cancer research or patients.
Unfortunate as it is, I ask that if you do want to support those who are or who will be affected by breast cancer (remember 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime), please do your research on which companies provide support to breast cancer research or directly to breast cancer patients before you buy that pink label.
Let’s turn Awareness into Action! Here are a few of my favorite breast cancer organizations to support:
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation – your donation goes to sponsor research grants in many areas related to breast cancer. BCRF is recognized by Charity Watch as a top-rated cancer fundraising organization.
- TNBC Foundation – your donation will go to improving research and quality of life and education for those living with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I personally have benefited tremendously from the community associated with the TNBC Foundation and the educational events this foundation hosts!
- METAvivor – your donation will go to improving research for those living with stage IV metastatic breast cancer.
- Compassion that Compels – if you’re looking to donate to a smaller organization that provides direct support to cancer thrivers – this is a great one! Your donation will go to providing emotional support, chemo care packages, and prayer to women with breast cancer. I loved receiving a Compassion Bag from this lovely organization!
I hope you are as excited about the possibilities in October as I am! I am also on track to complete chemotherapy at the end of the month (actually, I completed #13/16 TODAY) so it’s going to be a party for sure! Take care of yourselves and I look forward to sharing a TON of good info with you this month!