It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month which prompts us to pay special attention to the health of women everywhere-- particularly that of African-Americans.
While Caucasian women 40 and older have the highest rates of breast cancer in the United States, women in our community are more likely to die from the disease. Studies currently show that the death rate stands at 30.8 per 100,000 among AA women, compared to 22.7 per 100,000 among Caucasian women.
"The reasons for this increase among African-American women are unclear, but may be linked to socioeconomic status and barriers to treatment," says Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Although a tough pill to swallow, there are ways to help. By backing corporations, products, events and more that support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can aid in the advancement of breast cancer research in hopes of finding a cure.
Check out these four simple ways to help today:
Make A Run For It - Lace up those running shoes and participate in Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure being held in cities all across the country. The event is the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world and raises funds for the fight against breast cancer. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is another option that aims to help patients and survivors.
Buy Pink - You shop anyways, why not put your money to good use? Companies across various industries routinely support Breast Cancer Awareness Month by offering special products that fund breast cancer research. Shop Ralph Lauren's Pink Pony line. Take a look around Macy's Pink Shop. Or dine in at local restaurants collecting proceeds to help find a cure. The possibilities are endless.
Caring Card - If you're strapped for cash, spread awareness without spending a dime. Susan G. Komen for the Cure provides informative cards that can be passed around to the ladies you love. The simple message reminds women to know their risk, get screened, make healthy lifestyle choices and be aware of their bodies.
Give Your Time - Whether you opt to volunteer in-person or virtually, give your time over to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to spread the message about early breast cancer detection.
(Photos from left: Pink Ribbon International, Ranplett/Getty Images)