1,001 Ways to Save Your Own Life
Don’t cross the street without looking both ways.
Don’t forget to wear your seatbelt.
Don’t blow dry your hair while in the bathtub.
So far, so obvious.
Then there’s smoking: Don’t. (Don’t make us say DUH.)
The pink storm of October can be overwhelming, and can convince you that the biggest risk to your life as a woman is breast cancer. Pink is everywhere, from pink penalty flags and shoes in the NFL to pink ribbon bagels at your bakery. We love the focus on breast health, but want you to keep breast cancer in perspective.
Breast cancer is a killer – one we have dedicated our lives to fighting – and risk can be reduced with healthy habits and mortality rates lowered through early detection. But we remind you in this storm of pink that breast cancer is not the number one killer among women – in fact, it’s not even the number one cause of cancer deaths among women.
The leading cause of death in women is cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease. It outweighs the impact of cancers among women. Cardiovascular disease is different for men and women, and recent studies show it is both more difficult to identify and to treat in women. Learning all we can – knowledge being key – will help save lives.
Luckily, some of the healthy habits that help in the fight against breast cancer help in the fight against heart disease – remember when we said that exercise is awesome? So true. Keeping a healthy BMI works wonders as well.
Lung cancer is the number one killer cancer for women. Healthy lungs are smoke free and used to their healthiest full extent – including exercise. Hmmm. Is there a theme arising here…?
The focus this month is on breast cancer and its impact on the lives of women and men. Focus that serves as a reminder of the things we can do to save lives, one at a time through screening or as a whole funding research to someday eradicate the disease (we will get there together!). We ask that while the world is awash with pink remember to take care of your heart and lungs too. There are many ways to save your own life through knowledge and healthy habits – far more than 1,001!
Image credit: Colors! by onepinkhippo via Flickr; Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Originally published 10/4/13 on mammographykc.com.