It’s that time of year again! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are many ways that you can get involved. Nearly all of us have known someone who was affected by this disease. In the United States, about 1 in 8 women born today will get breast cancer. For this reason, it’s so important that we continue to educate ourselves about the signs, symptoms and proactive measures we can take to keep ourselves and those around us healthy.

Dump Your Fears

It’s normal to be scared to talk about breast cancer. For many women, we are so afraid to “jinx” ourselves that we ignore the issue entirely. We don’t want to find a lump during a breast exam so we don’t do it. We worry about the discomfort of a mammogram so we don’t go. We don’t want to let a family history of cancer make us paranoid so we don’t think about it. It’s time, however, that we face the fears and take control of our health.

Educate Your Family

Make learning about breast cancer a family affair for both the males and females. Teach your daughters to perform monthly breast exams and inform your son about the ways they may spot cancer in their future mates. Of course, you don’t want to dwell on the topic and instill fear but make it comfortable enough that you can carry on an open dialogue. It could save someone’s life.

Get Your Workplace Involved

Talk to the management about organizing some informational sessions at your workplace. Encourage your coworkers to make donations to charities that directly fund breast cancer research. Hand out pink ribbons and decorate your desk to remind everyone of the importance of this month.

Participate in Special Events

There are so many ways to participate in events that help raise awareness about breast cancer. The American Cancer Society hosts Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events throughout October in different cities across the country. October 17th is National Mammography Day. You can sign up for fundraising, take part in a walk/run or volunteer at any of these events.

These, of course, are just a few suggestions for how you can be an active part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How do you help raise awareness in your own life?  Does your connection to someone in particular make the month more meaningful? Do you have a testimony of why being proactive is so important?  Please share!