October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month — The worldwide annual campaign takes place in October involving thousands of organisations to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, “Breast Cancer Now” aims to get as many people as possible involved in raising awareness and funds to help support our life-saving research and life-changing support.
What else can you do?
There are plenty of other ways to get involved and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month right here in Bali. From campaigning to help women get access to the breast cancer drugs they need, to sharing information women need to know about checking their breasts; your support will help to reach the day when breast cancer has claimed its last life.
Get Involved with Bali Pink Ribbon
Bali Pink Ribbon was founded by Gaye Warren, a British breast cancer survivor who lived in Jakarta for more than twenty years. Following her own treatment for breast cancer and her husband’s retirement, they moved to Bali.
As a member of the Bali International Women’s Association, Gaye and two friends persuaded the Chairlady of BIWA to start a fundraising campaign for breast cancer awareness in Bali. From that small seed, the four developed a Pink Ribbon Walk prototype for the island, based on Gaye’s experiences of the Pink Ribbon Walks in Britain.
The Bali Walks, which started in 2009, have become the main fundraiser for the breast cancer awareness campaign and are more and more being customized to accommodate Balinese culture and traditions.
Since start up, the group of volunteers managing the campaign has expanded to raise considerable funds through the Walks and other events, especially from generous overseas sponsorship and more recently in terms of advice and medical help from Australia and Singapore.
Breast cancer is the number one cause of death amongst women in Indonesia with an average age range between 30-40 years old. Around 98% of breast cancer patients will survive for more than five years with early detection and medical help.
What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?
Research shows that lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of breast cancer, even in women at high risk. To lower your risk:
- Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. The general recommendation — based on research on the effect of alcohol on breast cancer risk — is to limit yourself to less than one drink a day, as even small amounts increase risk.
- Don’t smoke. Evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women.
- Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
- Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which helps prevent breast cancer. Most healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
- Breast-feed. Breast-feeding might play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
- Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options.
- You might be able to manage your symptoms with non-hormonal therapies and medications. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you and continue to have your doctor monitor the length of time you’re taking hormones.
- Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and cumulative exposure to radiation over your lifetime. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Health-e reporting with sources: CDC, Mayo Clinic