Every year, shades of pink signal global recognition for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At Martin's Wellness, your trusted local pharmacy, we are deeply committed to the well-being of our community. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we delve into understanding breast cancer, its prevention, early detection, and the resources available for patients and survivors.


When is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed every year during the month of October. It is celebrated internationally, with numerous organizations, charities, and individuals participating in activities and events to raise awareness about breast cancer, promote early detection, and support research efforts to find a cure.

During Breast Cancer Month, you can find various initiatives such as fundraisers, educational campaigns, events, and activities related to breast cancer awareness in your community and across the globe. The primary goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to promote breast cancer awareness, encourage women to get regular breast cancer screenings and support those affected by breast cancer.


Understanding Breast Cancer

Cancer begins in the basic building blocks that make up tissue: cells. Tissue makes up a significant portion of the body, including the breast. Occasionally, the process of cellular growth malfunctions, leading to the generation of new cells when the body does not require them. Other times, old or damaged cells do not die as they should. When this occurs, a build-up of cells can form a tissue mass called a lump, growth, or tumor.

Breast cancer arises when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control, potentially forming tumors. When left untreated, these malignant cells can spread to other parts of the body, damaging other tissues and organs - a process called metastasis. For this reason, early detection is often the body’s best defense against cancer so that growth can be addressed, managed, and contained.

Prevention and Detection: Your Key to Health

Early detection is critical to managing breast cancer, as it can help identify breast cancer at an early stage, often before symptoms become noticeable. Therefore, the chances of successful treatment and improved outcomes increase. According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%.

The following are steps to take to support early detection and tips for maintaining overall breast health.

Regular Breast Screening

Mammograms are X-ray images of the breast that can identify tumors before they are large enough to be felt. Women aged 40-74, especially those with a family history of breast cancer, are advised to get regular mammograms.

Know Your Breasts

Self-breast exams at home can be a proactive way to detect any abnormalities. Familiarize yourself with the feel of your breasts to detect any changes.

Lifestyle Choices

A balanced diet, regular exercise, and limited alcohol intake can reduce your risk.

Avoid Tobacco

Smoking is a risk factor for many cancers, including breast cancer.

Hormone Therapy Consideration

If you’re on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

The American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer death rates declined by 40% from 1989 to 2016 among women, and the progress is attributed to improvements in early detection - further underscoring the necessity of regular breast screenings, especially after 40 years of age.


National Resources for Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors

The following organizations are dedicated to breast cancer awareness and provide a wealth of resources around education and support.

  • American Cancer Society (ACS): Offers comprehensive information on breast cancer, treatment options, and support for patients.
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF): Provides free mammograms for those in need, alongside educational resources.
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF): Dedicated to advancing the world's most promising research to eradicate breast cancer.
  • Susan G. Komen: Offers financial assistance, support for those with metastatic disease, advocacy, and community programs.
  • Young Survival Coalition (YSC): Focuses on young adults affected by breast cancer, offering resources and connections.


Martin’s Wellness: Your Partner in Health

Our commitment goes beyond medicines and prescriptions. We are here to educate, support, and guide. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we encourage you to prioritize your health, get regular check-ups, and reach out for any guidance. With awareness, timely detection, and the right care, we can combat breast cancer one step at a time.

Remember, you're not alone in this journey, and Martin's Wellness is here for you every step of the way.


[Please note: This article aims to spread awareness. It is always recommended to seek advice from healthcare professionals for any health-related concerns.]