Staci holding pink flowers with hand on head revealing script tattoo on bicep

It’s time to break out your pink ribbons: October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Breast cancer is both the second most common cancer, and the second-leading cause of cancer death, in women. Its estimated 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, making it the most common cancer globally, accounting for 12% of all new cancer cases worldwide.

The unfortunately reality is that chances are, someone in your life has had breast cancer. Whether it’s a friend, a loved one, a colleague, a boss… I can think of at least four survivors off the top of my head, one of whom is my lovely Mom. So although October is the month of pink, it’s more than just one month for me – and for many thousands of others. It’s every time I get ready in the morning and catch a reminder of hope in the mirror.

Staci holding flowers against her chest revealing a breast cancer tattoo on ribs

Over a quarter of cases are preventable. Sadly, not all breast cancer cases are preventable, and women (and men too) will be diagnosed through no fault of their own. If you’re at an average risk and below age 40, studies have shown that diet and exercise are some of the most important measures you can take.

What about self-exams?

Some health care providers and resources recommend monthly self-exams, but others including the organisation the CDC uses for breast cancer guidelines, says it’s not necessary as studies show that self-exams do not decrease mortality.

I’m not one to disagree with medicine but it’s can’t hurt to do a self-exam every month! A few thing to remember though: Breast cancer doesn’t always cause a lump you can feel, and there can be other symptoms to look out for.

As always, talk to your doctor about any concerns and this is (obviously) not medical advice.