Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in woman, second only to non-melanoma skin cancers. Breast cancer can be a devastating disease, but with early detection, treatment and survival are possible. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, celebrated in October, has been on a mission for the last 20 years to educate women about breast cancer, particularly about detecting the disease in its earliest stages through mammograms, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exams.
The National Breast Cancer campaign is made up of several national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies working together to raise awareness about breast cancer and to provide access to screening services. Sponsors in the breast cancer campaign include the American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Resource Committee, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Medical Association. But even with large sponsors like these, your help is still needed.
A great resource for those looking to get involved in the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the official website at nbcam.org. There you can access a variety of resources that will help you become part of this important breast cancer campaign. The website encourages everyone to become what they call a NBCAM (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month) Program Leader. A NBCAM Program Leader is anyone who spreads the message about the importance of early detection for breast cancer. NBCAM programs can be found in clinics, medical centers, nonprofit and community centers, shopping malls, places of worship, schools, private homes and other places where people gather. Anyone with the drive to make a difference can be a Program Leader.
Prominently displayed on the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website is their Program Guide for becoming a Program Leader. One of the first things of note in the Program Guide is the past accomplishments attributed to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For example, between 1990 and 2005, breast cancer death rates decreased by 2.3%. The greatest decline was seen in women under age 50, probably due to earlier detection and improved treatment, which in part has been fueled by this breast cancer campaign. The Program Guide goes on to explain some basic breast cancer facts, including a comprehensive list of risk factors and tips on how to change one's lifestyle to avoid certain risk factors.
The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Program Guide also gives many tips on how to spread the word for those looking to become Program Leaders. It includes tips directed for clinics, the workplace and the community. It also includes ideas for getting the media involved on your efforts, to give further attention to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
It's easy to get involved in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All you need is the desire to help educate the public on the importance of early detection. With the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Program Guide, you'll be well on your way to educating those around you and helping save lives.