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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Countries around the globe have started celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with 31 days spotlighting prevention, education, and finding a cure. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go!

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month gets under way, consider how you will make a difference this month in the lives of the one in eight women who will be diagnosed with the disease. Whether it’s donating to charities that directly fund cancer treatment or pressuring government to take real action, make your involvement have the most impact.

Know The Facts:

Each year, approximately 70 thousand men and women age 15 to 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the US. Breast cancer accounts for roughly 15% of all cancers in this age group. Young women with breast cancer struggle with many issues either not present or much less severe in the lives of older women; including, the possibility of early menopause and effects on fertility.

Get Involved with Legislation:

To make meaningful change in the lives of those living with breast cancer, Breast Cancer Action is urging advocates to "move beyond 'awareness' and pink ribbons." The 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate urges government officials to push legislation that keeps corporations from polluting the environment and pushes pharmaceutical companies and biotech firms to prioritize patients over profits.

Support Grassroots Organizations:

It's not just the big name charities that you should be supporting. Consider getting involved with grassroots organizations that are tackling the issues that don’t garner mainstream attention. The Young Survival Coalition for example, focuses exclusively on the unique issues young women with breast cancer face. It provides comprehensive resources, support and education to address every phase of a young woman’s breast cancer experience. The Keep Abreast Foundation also works specifically with young people educating them on how to eradicate breast cancer for future generations.

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