As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Not only that, the 13th of October was No Bra Day. Just like every year, these two phrases went viral online, especially on Twitter.
The goal of No Bra Day is simple and noble: to raise awareness about breast cancer awareness by encouraging women to forgo wearing a bra for one day. We have collected the most powerful #NoBraDay and #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth tweets to help spread the message around the world. Scroll down, upvote the tweets you think are the most powerful and share with your friends because bigger awareness can lead to more lives being saved. And if you feel so inclined, share your stories about cancer in the comments to encourage others who are ill to keep on fighting, as well as to show them that they’re not alone.
Fashion Life reached out to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to talk about this sensitive topic. The NBCF said that there is a free, comprehensive, online guide to understanding breast cancer called 'Beyond The Shock.' "It is a resource for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, a place for loved ones to gain a better understanding of the disease, and a tool for doctors to share information." There are also free breast health guides available on the NBCF website right here. Scroll down for the full interview.
The NBCF told Fashion Life that early detection is "our greatest weapon against breast cancer today."
"When breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms," a representative of the National Breast Cancer Foundation explained. "That’s why it’s important for women to be aware of their own bodies, to go to their annual well-women exams, and to get their annual mammograms starting at the age of 40 or following their doctor’s best recommendation. We often hear of women who are embarrassed or just don’t have time for their check-ups. As women, it’s common for us to delay an appointment that seems to only be about us. Self-care is necessary and being proactive about our breast health is what we can do to make sure we are here longer for our ourselves and our loved ones."
"We do see a rise in donations during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With the cause of breast cancer being top of mind in October, and for many of those who are personally impacted by this disease, we see individuals, companies, and groups unite to show their support for our mission to help women and families directly impacted by this disease," the NBCF representative continued. "The tremendous support we see during Breast Cancer Awareness Month has a lasting effect on the work we do throughout the year. Awareness is important but we strive to go beyond that by providing educational information about early detection, breast health education, and by sharing stories of women whose lives have been saved by a free mammogram or the help of a patient navigator, and by employing full transparency in how our supporters’ gifts and actions make an impact on our mission. We believe that awareness plus action is how we can make the biggest difference during Breast Cancer Awareness Month."
"The risk of breast cancer increases as a person gets older," the NBCF revealed. "Two out of three women with invasive cancer are diagnosed after age 55. However, breast cancer can affect young women and women under 40 years old who have never even gotten a mammogram. Age is not something that we can control or slow down, but we can get some of that control back when we create a plan of action for our breast health and follow it. All women, regardless of age, can start with that."
The very first No Bra Day occurred in 2011, but back then it was held in the middle of Summer, on July 9. However, within 3 years it was moved to October 13, so that it would coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The #NoBraDay hashtag is meant to spread awareness of what breast cancer symptoms are, as well as to encourage gender equality.
Unfortunately, what should be a straightforward day about awareness, unity, and health is partly marred by controversy. Some people believe that No Bra Day unfairly sexualizes and exploits women’s bodies and belittles a serious, life-altering disease. In fact, there are some who believe that certain less-savory media outlets use No Bra Day as an excuse to get more readers and don’t really care about awareness at all.
While others, like the CEO of Living Beyond Breast Cancer Jean Sachs, believe that No Bra Day is offensive in the first place: “I mean breast cancer is a life-threatening illness. It has nothing to do with wearing a bra or not wearing a bra.”
Regular checkups are incredibly important, even if you don’t have a history of breast cancer in the family. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the symptoms of breast tumors vary from person to person. But some early warning signs of breast cancer can be the following:
- An increase in size or change in shape of the breast(s)
- Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk
- General pain in/on any part of the breast
- Lumps or nodes felt on or inside of the breast