Is Breast Cancer Awareness still an issue? We would say it absolutely is. It’s not that women don’t know what breast cancer is. Most women in the U.S. know of the disease and many know that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Additionally, most know that mammography is still considered to be the best tool for reducing breast cancer mortality rates.* So, does National Mammography Day still matter?
Last year, we shared that President Clinton created the event in 1993 to remind women to schedule their mammograms. Depending on your age, you may not fully appreciate just how much things have changed in the past 22 years, but consider the fact that the internet, smart phones and social media didn’t exist at that time, and it begins to make sense why a movement was created. In an era of only TV/radio/print media and “snail mail”, a presidential proclamation was the surest way to shine a light on the importance of getting a mammogram. With this in mind, is National Mammography Day passé in 2015? Does everyone just already know they’re supposed to get a mammogram annually after age 40?
Perhaps…but knowing and acting are not always the same. We know we’re supposed to floss our teeth each night before bed, but how many of us do so consistently? Ask a woman how she’s doing and you’ll often hear, “busy.” Between work, household chores, making time for fitness, and attempting to prepare healthy meals, the prevailing sentiment is that there are just not enough hours in the day-particularly for moms. If we’re not careful, it’s easy to let scheduling that annual mammogram get pushed further and further down the to-do list as we tackle more “pressing” issues like paying bills or grocery shopping. We are empathetic to this prioritization strategy, but we must work together to overcome it.
Our plea to you this National Mammography Day is simple. If you’re over 40 and don’t have a mammogram scheduled, make the call today. If you’ve already scheduled yours or are not yet old enough to need one, encourage a friend/aunt/mom/coworker to schedule hers.
*Source: National Cancer Institute