Breast cancer is the most common female cancer. 2.1 million women are impacted annually. Additionally, it is to blame for 15% of all cancer-related deaths in females. In 2018, alone, more than 620,000 women lost their lives to breast cancer. Despite the fact that breast cancer is more common in high- and upper-middle-income nations, the illness is becoming increasingly widespread worldwide. Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignancy in women in Nigeria, a lower-middle-income nation, accounting for 22.7% of all new cancer cases. It also has the highest breast cancer mortality rate of any country, with 12,000 fatalities in 2018.
When Pink October arrives, the majority of people have excellent intentions. They really want to contribute to the fight against breast cancer, which is predicted to result in an annual 685,000 deaths globally as recorded in 2020.
The fact is that most people over the age of 15 are probably already aware of breast cancer as a result of the efforts undertaken over the last 40 years. The pink ribbon was created, but sadly, early diagnosis and awareness are not the panaceas we originally believed.
Many women who are treated for early-stage breast cancer nonetheless have a recurrence with metastatic spread. Treatments are less likely to be effective at this point, and women are more likely to pass away from the illness. We should start concentrating our efforts on assisting those who have advanced breast cancer because of this. Beyond purchasing pink T-shirts, ribbons, or advising women to be examined, this goes farther.
Put support first, not awareness.
Make sure the charity you choose focuses on patient assistance rather than awareness when choosing it. There are several ways to help patients, including offering them wigs, cosmetics courses, gas cards, and even paying for their whole course of treatment. A person with breast cancer may benefit from all of these things to get through an emotionally and physically tough period.
Contact local charities in your region that specialise in patient assistance; if you’re interested in seeing our list of groups supporting this course, contact us at Isalu Hospitals.
Make a donation to research projects
Research is important. Even though metastatic breast cancer is the only kind of breast cancer that may cause death, it gets substantially less funding globally than early-stage breast cancer.
The majority of philanthropic donations are used for fundamental research with little practical impact. Finding organisations that are working to really heal people rather than merely raising awareness is thus vital when searching for charity to give to.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and StandUp2Cancer are two fantastic organisations that are doing this.
You may look out breast cancer organisations on the Charity Navigator website and give there as well. On this website, charities are rated according to their effectiveness, efficiency, and impact.
Help a friend who is battling cancer.
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. The majority of cancer patients often hear such remark before never running across that individual again. We require assistance more and more the longer we get therapy. Our bathrooms need to be cleaned, our dogs need to be walked, and our kids need to be taken someplace.
Therefore, avoid asking how you can assist if you know someone who has cancer. Inform them of your plans. Don’t make the cancer sufferer responsible for seeking assistance.
Many breast cancer patients utilise websites like Caring Bridge or Lotsahelpinghands to plan assistance for things like meals, transportation to chemotherapy appointments, laundry, pet sitting, and other services.
Provide clothing to a chemo facility
You may affect a cancer patient’s life without ever speaking to them, did you know that? Community oncologists are available in every municipality and will gladly receive blanket, hat, or scarf contributions.
Ask the front desk employees at your neighbourhood hospital’s breast cancer ward or chemotherapy centre whether they would take donations
A social worker might be contacted to see where the needs are highest.
Write letters and Send cards.
For someone going through the most terrifying moment of their life, sending cards to cancer sufferers and placing them in chemo facilities or hospital wards on vacations may mean a lot. Tell them you are thinking of them and that you care.
Advocate more government assistance
Regarding healthcare requirements, there has been egregious carelessness and inadequate government help. For the necessary cancer research and advancements to lessen the burden of this illness, there is little to no funding currently available. Cancer patients have historically had difficulty getting drugs, including chemo and supportive treatments.
Nowadays, physicians refuse to provide necessary painkillers to patients (including those who are near death) out of concern about “overprescribing.” Some insurance companies won’t cover some anti-nausea medications because they are too pricey. This may cause discomfort as many individuals approach the end of their life. We must alter it.
Spend Time with cancer sufferers
When you talk to a cancer patient, keep in mind that they may not always feel like heroes or survivors; they may not always want (or need) to be upbeat. And nothing they did, even eating processed foods and sweets, contributed to their cancer.
Never tell someone they’re a fighter or imply that they did anything wrong in response to their confiding in you that they have cancer. Simply express your regret that this occurred to them and let them know you are there to listen.
And let them know that you are accessible right now or at any point in the future if they want to chat or be distracted from anything.
It’s crucial that you treat them like the friends, coworkers, or family members they have always been. You may be the comforting presence that reassures them that they don’t always have to be strong since cancer can be lonely.
Let people know that mammograms are free in certain places
An X-ray procedure called a mammography may be used to detect breast cancer. The significance of obtaining routine mammograms is highlighted by the possibility that these pictures may detect breast cancer up to three years before you feel it in your breast tissue.
There are probably free or low-cost mammography programmes in your region throughout the month of October if you or a loved one requires one but lacks insurance. These could be provided by clinics or private doctors. Once these initiatives are introduced, it’s imperative that you let other people know about them.
Encourage cancer centres to provide free or inexpensive screenings for women who may not have insurance or have poor incomes. These include tests for females between the ages of 40 and 64 for breast cancer.
Begin your own fundraising campaign
Pink With pink advertising all around, October has practically become a national holiday. However, the money given by businesses often does not benefit individuals with metastatic disease, who most need it. Your mom, sisters, and grandparents are afflicted with incurable cancer, and they need your assistance.
You can think about organising your own contribution campaign in light of this need. You may generate money by using conventional methods like bake sales or car washes, or you can think about continuing with the well-known pink motif and holding a pink pumpkin competition at your place of employment.
Whatever you decide, the advantage of organising your own fundraising drive is that you can make sure that all funds benefit your community or a recognised charity that aids people with metastatic cancer.
Keep learning so that you and others can.
After every October, it could seem as if less effort is being put into breast cancer research and awareness campaigns. In actuality, enrolment in clinical trials, fresh research results, and potential therapies all take place continuously.
Set a reminder for yourself to check in with your preferred charity or organisation for the most recent information on breast cancer on a weekly, monthly, or whenever you’d like basis.
For the most recent news and information, bookmark websites like BreastCancer.org and the National Cancer Institute. Following that, you may distribute articles by email or your preferred social media.