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Four Ways to Support Friends with Breast Cancer

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The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 7.6 million cancer deaths in 2008 worldwide. However, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women globally.

Do you know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer? October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there are different ways to show your friends and family you care for the cause. Below are four of our favorites:

1. Give emotional support

After diagnosis, your friend of family member may feel overwhelmed, confused, scared or lonely. You should be supportive and lend a helping hand. The key is not to be overbearing or make the person feel weak and helpless. They’re still the same person they were before, so try to cheer them up with their favorite movies or activities.

If you can’t be there for your friend, the American Cancer Society offers a program called Reach to Recovery that pairs a volunteer cancer survivor with someone who has been diagnosed. The Reach to Recovery program provides an intimate support system from someone who has experience of dealing with breast cancer.

2. Donate

The alarming statistics associated with breast cancer shows that there is a need for research. However, the resources and brainpower dedicated to this come with a price. Every dollar donated to breast cancer research increases the possibility of finding a cure. Nonprofits that accept donations include American Cancer Society, Susan G Komen, and BreastCancer.org.

If you want to do more than just writing a check, buy some pink breast cancer awareness items that go with your style.

3. Have fun and get moving

As the largest voluntary health organization in the United States, the American Cancer Society (ACS) holds events year-round to support patients, caregivers and survivors. Making Strides against Breast Cancer has been successful for twenty years, and you may be able to join forces with the campaign.

“Not only are participants helping those who are currently fighting the disease,” Dawn Ward, Senior Director of Marketing Communications at ACS says, “they’re helping everyone who hopes to never hear the words ‘You have breast cancer.’”

Susan G. Komen and Avon also hold popular events to raise awareness and fund research for breast cancer.

4. Help yourself

Preventing breast cancer before it starts is very important. You are the master of your own fate, so eating healthfully and exercising will lessen the possibility of developing breast cancer. However, risk factors include genetics (unchangeable), being overweight, and consuming chemicals in plastic (BreastCancer.org).

I have a family member who is coping with breast cancer. I get emotional when I think about it. However, when I weigh the possibilities of curing her disease, it makes me feel better.

I would love to hear your stories and tips in the comments below.


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