As many of our readers already know, October is celebrated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) each year. During this time, various programs help to increase awareness and to raise funds for detection of breast cancer, research, treatment, diagnosis and cure. It is also a time to offer support to those affected by breast cancer. So it is about this time of year that we see a lot of pink ribbons for breast cancer. At ComboInk, we are partnering with the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc.® (NBCF) to raise funds for their cause.
Know your Breast Cancer Risk Factors
The single most effective way to survive this killer disease is early detection. Knowing your risk factors is important knowledge that will help catch the disease in its still treatable stages. Below are the most commonly known risk factors of breast cancer.
- Genetics is thought to be the primary risk factor for breast cancer. This is, obviously, a risk factor beyond control. However, knowing one’s family history of cancer (particularly among close female relatives) is important so women can know how frequently they need to undergo screening
- Age is risk factor. The older a woman, the higher are her chances of getting the disease
- Not having had children and not breast feeding also increases risk
- Smoking is the single biggest modifiable and controllable risk factor. It increases cancer risk by 35 to 50%
- The use of birth control pills has been linked to breast cancer. However, the research behind the studies are controversial
- Obesity and high fat diets are also identified as risk factors
- Alcohol intake is also a risk factor
- Some occupations that involve shift work and radiation exposure could also increase risk
Lead a healthy lifestyle, know the symptoms, have an early detection plan
It is estimated that up to 38% of breast cancer diagnoses in the United States can be prevented by lifestyle modifications. So apart from knowing your risk factors, you should also make some changes in your life. These include the following: not smoking, breastfeeding, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake and exercising regularly. These lifestyle modifications also have other beneficial health impacts such as reducing risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
After assessing risk factors, women should devise an early detection plan that involves breast self exam, clinical exams and mammograms. Self exams are meant to be performed monthly. On the other hand,clinical exams as well as mammograms should be performed as frequently as one’s risk factors indicate. In some cases, ultrasound procedures may be indicated. In addition the NBCF organizes free screening facilities in conjunction with various partners that women can benefit from.
Knowledge is another tool that helps in fighting the disease. Knowing what early warning signs to look for can also improve outcomes very significantly. Lumps or tumors anywhere in the breast or armpit area could be problematic, though it is important to know that a majority of such lumps are benign. Please seek medical help if you notice any change in size, shape or appearance of the breast as well as redness, inversion, and enlargement of the pores (the orange peel effect).
Unexplained weight loss, fevers and chills could also be symptoms in some cases. The thing to look out for is anything unusual or doesn’t seem right to you. These changes could be completely harmless, but it doesn’t hurt to be a little extra cautious when it comes to breast cancer!
Support our UNITY IN MAGENTA Partnership with the NBCF
Your favorite ink and toner cartridge website is going pink, or rather magenta, this October.. As we mentioned earlier, we are partnering up with the NBCF to raise $4,000 to support their mission by donating 2% of sales made from our customers’ orders. If you are in need of printer cartridges and want to help support the NBCF’s cause, we are offering you a 5% discount on all your purchases this month. So don’t forget to use coupon code UNITY5 as you checkout all this month (expiration date: 10/31/2015).
If you wish to donate for breast cancer research or want more information about breast cancer, you can visit the NBCF website.