This October we’re showing our support for all the amazing campaigns that promote breast cancer awareness, and more importantly, the brave women that are facing their battle against breast cancer.

According to PathCare South Africa, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in developed countries.  In developing countries it runs a close second to cervical cancer. In both developed and developing countries, newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer are increasing by 1-2% per year.

With stats like those, we can’t deny how important it is that we watch out for ourselves and each other.

Here are 5 ways to show your support for Breast Cancer awareness

1.Get clued up

Knowledge is power.

When you are aware of the warning signs, especially if cancer runs in your family, you can be prepared. Spend time reading up on current statistics about breast cancer, the risks, symptoms, and other important information.

There are great resources available online, such as educational videos, inspirational stories, Q & A’s and comprehensive guides to understanding breast cancer.

Check out this helpful early detection plan that will help you identify early warning signs (like a new lump or a change in your breast tissue or skin).

2.Visit Your Gynae (seriously… do it)

Ladies, we get it… none of us exactly “whoop!” for joy when we think about a trip to the gynaecologist. We wouldn’t necessarily slot it in under “a great day out” either.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has this to say about how often you should visit your specialist:

“As a general rule, all women should have a pelvic exam at least once per year. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if you’re over 21 but under 29, you should have a pelvic exam once a year. This yearly visit should include a General Women’s Wellness Exam including a Pap smear.”

Don’t procrastinate. Just do it. Your peace of mind is worth the brief discomfort.

3.Do regular breast self-exams

The National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends that women perform breast self-exams on a monthly basis. Make this a habit by doing regular checks while you’re taking a bath or shower (if you’re a mom, it’s likely that this is your only opportunity for “peace and quiet”).

Any changes to your breast tissue should be discussed with your doctor or gynaecologist. Look out for any of these signs:

  • Changes in the appearance of your breast, i.e. size, shape, symmetry or skin changes
  • A lump or mass in your breast
  • Enlarged underarm lymph nodes
  • Changes in the appearance of your nipples
  • Puckering, dimpling or skin indentation
  • Pain, swelling or tenderness
  • Skin changes, rash or redness

4.Lead a healthy lifestyle

Risk factors for breast cancer can be reduced if you try living a healthy lifestyle. At Montagu, we’re all about helping you support that lifestyle with premium quality products sourced from Mother Nature.

While you can’t prevent cancer outright, there are areas that you can keep your eye on to reduce your risk:

  1. Find out whether you have a history of breast cancer in the family
  2. Try maintain a healthy body weight
  3. Do regular physical activities (yes, that means exercise…:) )
  4. Eat a balanced diet with enough fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds
  5. Don’t smoke
  6. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum

A number of recent research studies have shown that certain nuts contain properties that are linked to reduced risk of breast cancer:

A recent study conducted by Dr. Soriano-Hernandez and a team at the University of Colima in Mexico  concluded that eating peanuts, almonds or walnuts frequently is linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer by a factor of 2 or 3.

Results from another study conducted by Harvard Medical School in the United States showed that consumption of 2 servings of nuts a week during adolescence has been linked to a 36% lower risk of breast cancer in comparison with women who consumed less than 1 serving of nuts per month.

5. Pledge your support

There are many ways to show your support for initiatives that are working hard to raise awareness about breast cancer and stand with those going through it. You could:

  • Host a fundraiser to raise money for ladies who can’t afford mammograms.
  • Make a monetary pledge towards a worthy cause that supports women’s health, like CANCA, the Pink Drive or the Breast Health Foundation.
  • Become a volunteer with one of the above organisations.
  • Take part in one of many breast cancer fun walks happening around South Africa this month.

PathCare South Africa states that early detection and new treatment options have decreased breast cancer related deaths by 20%. This is amazing news! We have a long way to go, but together we can make a difference.

Fight like a girl this Breast Cancer Awareness Month – wear your pink ribbon, show your support and most importantly…take care of yourself.

#WeCare | #GirlPower | #FightLikeAGirl