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Making A Difference® for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Many people call it “Go Pink for October”, supporting those affected by the breast cancer by wearing pink, donating money, getting involved to start or join a fundraising event, or volunteer to help educate women about breast cancer. Even though most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages as well as encourage others to do the same.

During this month, it is important to remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health, and to remember that it is never too late to start doing so. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. It is the most common kind of cancer in women after skin cancer. Fortunately, if the cancer is found and treated at an early stage, many women can survive. Mammograms are the easiest way and quickest way to detect breast cancer and can help find it early. Therefore it is important to encourage communities, families, organizations, and individuals to spread the word about mammograms, especially in women over 40. Nonprofits like A Silver Lining Foundation offer free mammograms for women who don’t have access to it.

Hopefully, greater knowledge about breast cancer will lead to earlier detection of it, leading to higher long term survival rates. Money raised for breast cancer awareness will produce a reliable cure, and wearing pink and getting involved in fundraising will provide emotional support for those who are battling breast cancer, as well as cherish the memories of those who lost the battle. Visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website for more information on what you can do to help this month and for a variety of resources for breast cancer prevention.

 

Making A Difference® During National Suicide Prevention Week

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This year marks the 39th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week, from September 8-14th.  It is a week to reflect and to reach out to people close to you that are going through a rough time in their life.  People suffering from mental anguish that can lead to suicide may avoid speaking about their pain or seeking treatment.  It’s important to know it’s never too late to reach out to someone in need.

Suicide rates have risen in the United States over the past decade.  A study, published this spring, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed an increase in suicide among middle-age Americans, with the rate rising by almost 30 percent for people ages 35 to 64 between 1999 and 2010.  CDC researchers stated that many societal factors, including the long-term economic downturn and the greater access to opioid drugs, can explain the increase of suicide rates.

These seven days serve as a remembrance and a reminder of the lives we have tragically lost to suicide.  If you are interested in taking part of National Suicide Prevention Week, contact your statewide suicide prevention coalition or your local health provider and see their volunteering opportunities or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.