Breast Cancer Awareness

October was declared Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1985. It was created to raise awareness about early detection and encourage women to get a mammogram. While it was originally a collaboration between the American Cancer Association and a pharmaceutical company with the sole purpose of encouraging mammograms, it is now much bigger. Today, the month celebrates survivors, honors those who lost their battle, and promotes prevention as well as other early detection methods.

Why Pink?

There is a long history of the pink ribbon beginning in the 1980s, but the pink ribbon really caught on starting in the early 1990s. In 1991, the Susan B. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to survivors at the New York City Race for a Cure. Two years later, Estée Lauder declared it the official symbol of the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation (which they founded). Today, pink is recognized worldwide as the official breast cancer color.

Prevention and Early Detection

While some risk factors cannot be changed (like being a female or family history of breast cancer), there are several things you can do to lower your risk of breast cancer. Some of those include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Limit or avoid alcohol;
  • Don’t smoke;
  • Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables;
  • Breastfeed if possible; and
  • Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Taking steps for prevention is important, but since some are already predisposed to breast cancer, it’s also important to practice screening and early detection. Mammograms and breast exams are extremely important when it comes to early detection. Unfortunately, many insurance companies don’t cover mammograms until age 40. Many women under 40 are developing breast cancer these days, so it’s up to you to make sure to note any changes and contact your doctor immediately. Some things to look for are:

  • A lump, hard knot, or change in the breast tissue or under the arm;
  • Sudden onset of nipple discharge;
  • Redness or swelling in the breast;
  • Change in size or shape of breast;
  • Pulling in or dimpling of the nipple or breast;
  • New pain that will not go away; or
  • A rash or itchiness around the nipple.

All of these could be signs of breast cancer, but some could also be related to something else. That’s why it’s important to contact your doctor so they can do the appropriate tests. Even if you’re under 40, if a doctor orders a mammogram due to a concern, insurance will likely help with the cost. Bottom line, make sure you’re noticing breast changes and taking prompt action when you notice them.

This Month At Vessel

This month, we are selling these adorable In The Pink shirts to benefit cancer research. We will also have a Community in the Park event on October 22nd to raise awareness for breast cancer. It will include a Pilates class and some refreshments at Vessel. In The Pink shirts will be available for purchase at the event and any donations received will also go directly toward breast cancer research.

If you are a survivor or want to honor someone, we would love to hear from you! We will display your name or the name of your loved one in the store all month long!

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