While significant medical advances against breast cancer are made each year, too many lives are still being lost to this disease. The latest statistics from the American Cancer Society predict that in 2015, nearly 40,000 American women will lose their lives to breast cancer.

Get Screened

The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. wants everyone to know that “when breast cancer is detected early [in the] localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 100 percent.” While self-exams for any changes in the breast are essential, cancer in its earliest stage cannot be detected independently. All women are encouraged to create an Early Detection Plan, which includes receiving personalized reminders for scheduling clinical breast exams and mammograms. An online resource entitled “Beyond the Shock” offers videos, forum conversations, and question and answer opportunities for cancer patients and their families.

Promote Awareness

National Breast Cancer month can only make a difference if you help spread the word. A website badge is available from the federal government’s toolkit for breast cancer awareness, and it’s easy to post this on your website or social media site during the month of October. If your organization or business sends out newsletters, the toolkit offers a set of sample announcements that you can customize for your own media. The program even supplies prewritten tweets, poster designs and e-cards so you don’t have to compose the material yourself.

Help Fund Research

Research on breast cancer causes, prevention and treatment advances every year. Fundraising for research is essential in the effort to defeat this disease, and fundraising toolkits are available for you to sponsor various events, including marathons, online fundraisers and more.

Provide Cancer Patients With Support

The Susan G. Komen organization addresses research and public policy initiatives and also provides extensive support resources for breast cancer patients and survivors. These resources include a helpline and referrals to numerous types of in-person and online sources of social support. If you’re looking for ways to provide support to someone in your life who is battling breast cancer, there are tip sheets, guides and online communities to help you discover effective ways to help.

A woman living in the United States right now has a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast Cancer Awareness Month offers you the opportunity to help fight this disease on the personal and public level.