Cancer —it’s my least favorite word in the dictionary. It ranks right up there with evil and Satan.
My father and sister died at early ages from cancer, so I have reason to be so tempestuous regarding this dreaded disease.
October is breast-cancer awareness month. Roughly, 1 out of 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in their life, according to cancer.gov. That statistic alone should prompt every woman to conduct monthly self-examinations, as well as schedule routine mammogram testing based on your physician’s recommendations.
Why? Early detection is one of the main factors in the treatment process for breast cancer. The sooner detected, the better the prognosis. Thousands of lives are saved each year through early detection programs. More lives could be saved if a higher number of women participated in the tests that are offered by health care providers. C’mon, ladies, let’s get crackin’.
Hey, gents, breast cancer can occur in men, too. Although women are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men, according to cancer.gov, guys are not exempt. Since breast cancer in men is rare and imaging screenings are not routine for men, self-examinations can be the difference maker in detection and prognosis. There is a particular procedure when conducting a BSE. The BSE is performed while lying down, not standing up. Check with your doctor or a reputable source to make sure you are performing the exam correctly.
Aging is an important risk factor for developing breast cancer in men and women … so try not to get old anytime soon. Seriously, doing the right things for your body that keep it healthy and strong can make a huge difference. Establishing a healthy weight, maintaining healthy habits, following a nutritional diet and regular doses of exercise (there’s that word again) may also help keep the “Big C” at bay. And if, by chance, one still gets cancer, take heart in knowing that a healthy body will be better prepared for the fight that will lie ahead.
One of my good friends always said, “When I die, I want to die healthy.” I like that way of thinking.
There are many other things you can do to help celebrate this month of awareness. The color pink and pink ribbons symbolize breast-cancer awareness. So put on your pink and make pink ribbons. Sell pink lemonade or wear pink shoelaces. Pink ties always are in vogue, and pink grapefruit really are good to eat. You also can join our neighbors in Savannah and “Paint the Town Pink” with the many activities they have throughout the month.
Think pink, keep calm and fight on!
DeLong is the Executive Director of The Suites at Station Exchange. Email him at Suites.StationExchange@gmail.com.