October may be known for the Halloween treats, haunted houses and spooky costumes — but it’s also known for something so much bigger: Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018 alone, more than 40,000 women are expected to lose their battle External Site with the disease.
Breast Cancer Awareness month is a chance to help your employees understand the importance of detecting breast cancer early through preventive care services and self-examinations. It’s also a way to rally around and support employees who may be going through treatment, or those who are survivors of the disease.
What to know about breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S.
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime.
Early detection and treatment contributed to a 39% decline in breast cancer deaths.
More than 5 million people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. right now.
Every 2 minutes, one woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Women 50 and older are typically diagnosed with breast cancer.
Source: Susan G. Komen.
Year-round 'think pink' mentality in the workplace
Awareness about breast cancer shouldn’t stop at the end of the month. Create a workplace that ‘thinks pink’ throughout the year with these three tips:
- Educate your employees about the importance of preventive care Opens in a new window and being proactive about their breast health External Site throughout the year.
- Encourage employees to discuss and understand the screenings they may need with their primary care provider (PCP).
- Promote healthy habits External Site within your workplace that help prevent or reduce the risk of certain cancers.
What you might not know
African-American women experience a high risk of breast cancer. According to BreastCancer.Org External Site, black women are 20 to 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer due to a several factors: genetics, biology of the cancer and differences in health care.
Read one Wellmark member's story Opens in a new window Lisa Ambrose's fight with stage 2 breast cancer.
Experts with the American College of Radiology (ACR) advise that all women — especially African-American women — should be evaluated for breast cancer no later than the age of 30, so that their risk can be identified and they can benefit from supplemental screening.
In reality, cancer affects both men and women, which makes it possible that one of your employees may receive a cancer diagnosis within their lifetime. As an employer, your biggest question is: How can you provide support to an employee with cancer?