Giving Back in April; National Cancer Control Month

May 03, 2021
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While October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, April is National Cancer Control Month. As we finish out this month and head closer to summer, we wanted to talk a little bit more about this month, its focus, and what you can do to help spread awareness! 

Giving Back in April; National Cancer Control Month

While October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, April is National Cancer Control Month. As we finish out this month and head closer to summer, we wanted to talk a little bit more about this month, its focus, and what you can do to help spread awareness! 

Hello readers, warriors, and friends! Welcome back to the Breast Place's blog! October, as you know, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While we try to treat every month as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to educate, support, and spread as much information and awareness as we can, we still need your help and support to achieve our goals. While April might not solely focus on breast cancer, it is still one of the many forms of Cancer that are discussed and included in this month's awareness. Many of our new readers and those still adjusting to their diagnosis may also be new to the idea of National Cancer Control Month. What is cancer control? According to cancer.org, cancer control and the month of April helps bring awareness about and focus on reducing the number of individuals who get cancer, end up with complications from their diagnosis, and who die from it. "It uses approaches that have been tested through research to control the number of cancer cases as well as the effect of cancer". This month's whole goal of cancer control is to prevent cancer, reduce the risk of cancer, detect cancer sooner, improve all cancer treatments, help more people who are diagnosed with cancer survive, and improve the quality of life for those who have cancer. Another goal of cancer control is to help with the overall effects and burden cancer puts on your life and how it affects your community, your family, and you! 

April became National Cancer Control month in 1938. Declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for over 83 years the month of April has been dedicated to raising awareness for all forms of cancer and to support its treatment and cure throughout the United States. Thanks to years of hard work and the push to better educate our citizens here in the US, the death toll from cancer did see a steady decline when National Cancer Control month was created. This education and awareness have been dedicated to teaching how to prevent certain cancers, how to recognize signs and symptoms, and how to find proper treatment. At the time that National Cancer Control was created, so many men and women didn't know what symptoms to look for and they didn't know who to turn to for help. While many would go to their local doctors, they weren't aware of many specialists that existed to help them prevent and recover from any cancer they might have been suffering from.

To this day, one of the most effective ways to help prevent almost all cancers or to catch them in their earliest stages is with screenings. The screening will help detect precancerous cells and provide early treatment to hopefully catch and eliminate the found cancer before it becomes any kind of serious problem. One of the most common and easy screened cancers is breast cancer, thanks to breast imaging like yearly mammograms for women ages 40 and older. 

The battle to fight for cancer in the US truly began as our country was also fighting in WWII. Thanks to President Roosevelt who viewed the diseases as deadly as the enemy we were fighting overseas, cancer awareness finally became a solid reality. While it is something that we are all very aware of now, this hasn't always been the case. While almost all Americans knew and paid close attention to the enemies we were fighting overseas during WWII, far fewer knew the dangers of cancer, and many didn't even realize how serious cancer was. Roosevelt changed this with his declaration of Cancer Control Month. At the time, according to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, cancer was claiming almost 150,000 American lives every year, many of these cases could have been stopped or prevented with regular checkups, care, and education. When Roosevelt declared April as National Cancer Control Month, he called upon the media, school, universities, medical professionals, and many more to help him with this endeavor. While this was a powerful campaign and has been since it began, cancer and its burdens are still affecting millions of Americans every year. Due to the continued rise of cases, the month of April has shifted its focus into five different categories. 

  • Cancer prevention. According to the NFCR, 30-50% of all cancer cases can be preventable. This is done through awareness, reducing exposure to cancer risk factors, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and equipping people with the proper amount of information to protect themselves. 
  • Early detection of cancer. This helps greatly increase the chance for successful cancer treatment. There are two main types of early detection, screening, and education. 
  • Improving cancer treatments. This is a move geared towards recognizing that not all cancer can be prevented, but working towards making treatment as best as it can be to provide as much life as possible. 
  • Increasing the survival rate of cancer. Researching treatments and cures for cancer remains a top priority to provide better and accurate ways of saving lives. 
  • Improvise the quality of life for people who do have cancer. This is supporting individuals who have been diagnosed and their loved ones before, during, and after their diagnosis. 

This year, the president made a declaration to the nation regarding National Cancer Control Month, and along with the 83 years it has been around, this year is also the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971. This legislation pushed our nation to really commit to cancer research, established a network of cancer centers, advanced research, clinical trials, and data collection systems. Without this landmark legislation, many breakthroughs against cancer that have happened in recent years might not have occurred. He also made note that due to the pandemic, many disruptions were made to cancer care including routine screenings, therapy, diagnosis, and much more. With National Cancer Control Month on its way out and the covid-19 vaccine on its way in, please do not delay any future treatments, screening, or doctor visits. Now is the time to get back to how to control cancer so it doesn't control us. While we have made exceptional advances against cancer, there is still much to be done. If anything, national cancer control month does an excellent job of reminding us how much we've accomplished and how much farther we still need to go. 

While we all continue to do our part to educate and spread awareness throughout April and every single month throughout the year, this month can be a little overwhelming and make us all feel defeated. When this happens, the best thing to do is to focus on the positive, and focus on what we can do and not on what we still can't. This month is dedicated to uniting us all thanks to the power of knowledge. Help spread the word and get involved. If you can, donate to cancer research to help improve treatment and help with the survival rate. While you might not be able to financially give back and support, there are many free ways to give back and help. One way to do that is with a free cancer prevention and early detection kit from the NFCR. This kit includes tips and suggestions on how to lower your personal chances of getting cancer, information about the different types of cancer screenings available to you, and it comes in a downloadable form so you can share it with anyone and everyone to help spread awareness. While you're in this mindset, don't forget some of the most effective ways to prevent many different types of cancer, including breast cancer, can be achieved by making small changes in your life.

  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Practice safe sex
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Avoid UV exposure and wear sunscreen and other sun protection
  • Remain physically active
  • Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water!

Now that you know a little more about cancer control month, its power and its influence depend on people like you; those who are aware and want to share their knowledge, those dealing with all stages of diagnosis, and those who are loved ones of those going through a diagnosis. Keep talking, keep sharing, and keep giving back as much as you can! We are here to help you with all of this, so please never hesitate to reach out to us when you need us most! Don't forget, if you're looking for a women's imaging center near you, breast imaging, laser scar removal, and much more, you have found everything you need right here at The Breast Place. We are your leading professionals in Charleston to provide hope through wellness and beauty for women facing life's challenges. We specialize in malignant and benign breast disease and as a team, we work with you to educate, treat, and provide the best care we can. Until next time, stay safe and be well out there. We understand life is challenging. We are here to listen, support, treat, and help make life a little easier.