Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Unfortunately, it looks like producing a weekly blog just isn't going to happen. When we posted our first blog entry, writing once per week seemed very doable, however, the other aspects of this business completely consume whatever free time we have around here so it's been decided that a once monthly blog will have to do for now. Eventually, we may assign someone to do this task exclusively which would allow us to produce entries more often and also to provide the content we originally promised when we started the blog. So, please just hang in there with us while we continue to develop this area of the site and do our best to make it as entertaining as possible.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it's time to talk about this month's topic - Breast Cancer Awareness. With around 276,000 cases of invasive breast cancer being diagnosed in 2020 alone (and roughly 48,000 of those proving fatal), the odds are fair that if you are reading this you've probably been impacted by breast cancer yourself or at least known someone who has. Sadly, that even includes us here at Escondido Bracelets. In fact, breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women (only skin cancer is more prevalent). As October approaches, we wanted to use this month's blog as an opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of getting regular check-ups.
First, it's important to note that unless you have a family history of breast cancer or specific genetic mutations, it isn't actually recommended to start receiving mammograms until you turn 40. That's definitely a positive when you consider that most women say the three most common reasons they choose not to get a mammogram is inconvenience (the time it takes to schedule an appointment and actually go), the discomfort of the procedure, and/or the cost (usually for the uninsured). Believe it or not, your race can also be a factor when it comes to a breast cancer diagnosis. All other factors being equal, white women are more likely to be initially diagnosed with breast cancer, however, black women are more likely to get more aggressive forms of the disease.
Returning to the issue of cost for a second, the good news is that the Affordable Care Act requires that all insurance plans now cover the full cost of a mammogram at least once per year for women over 40. That's excellent news unless you're one of the 27 million Americans estimated to not currently have health insurance. If you are one of those people though, all is not lost. In 1990, Congress created the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) for the sole purpose of providing screening for women who either fall below the poverty line or are uninsured or even just under-insured. And if that wasn't enough, in the year 2000, they passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act which provides medical treatment (through Medicaid) for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Since 1990, the NBCCEDP has provided screenings and exams for 15 million women which most would consider a resounding success. If you need a mammogram or cervical exam and want to see if you qualify for either program, please contact them at 1-800-227-2345.
The other side of awareness is diagnosis and it's important to note that, as frightening as it is, a positive breast cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. It really goes back to the importance of catching things early though as the statistics demonstrate. If caught early -for example in the first stage - the 5-year survivability rate (the rate at which people are alive five years later) is 98-100%. Those are fantastic odds. Even if the cancer has progressed to stage two, the 5-year survivability is still 90-99%. While arguably not as good as stage one, it is still highly acceptable. The problems arise if the disease reaches stage three or greater where the survivability rate can drop to as low as 66%. That's why early detection is so important and why we are stressing it here.
To help celebrate everyone affected by this terrible disease, we've designed a new collection just for the month of October - the Breast Cancer Awareness Collection.
Ideally, we would like for people to wear them as a way to remind themselves and those around them to receive their annual check-up. Perhaps you may even want to wear one as a way to celebrate the life of someone you've lost to breast cancer. Regardless of whether you choose to wear a memorial bracelet or t-shirt or just to always cherish their memory in your own personal way, the point is to never forget their strength and courage. We hope everyone out there has a great October and please remember to get checked and to remind those around you to do the same. Stay safe - Escondido Bracelets