Nonprofits Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month
By Becca Stewart
This year, more than 333,000 Americans will receive a life-changing diagnosis: they have breast cancer. Nearly 45,000 of them will not survive. But there is hope. Those who are diagnosed early – when cancer is in its early stages and localized – have a 99% survival rate.
Early detection is critical. All women should perform monthly self-examinations and receive professional screenings as recommended by their doctors. Some risk factors, like family history, age, and race, might increase the risk of breast cancer, making these exams even more critical.
Each October, breast cancer education, treatment, and support organizations band together to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The goal is to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention, screening, and treatment and encourage both women and men to recognize breast cancer warning signs. It’s also a chance to support those in need, bringing services to underserved populations.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re focusing on a few incredible organizations working to save lives. You can learn more about these organizations and discover many others on our website, GreatNonprofits.org. Please take a moment to read about these nonprofits and support them if you are able. Together, we can bring attention to breast cancer and keep our loved ones healthy.
Janelle Hail was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1980, at the age of 34. There wasn’t an abundance of information at the time, and she navigated her treatment with little help. She survived and created the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help other women get the care and support they need.
NBCF focuses on serving underprivileged communities, providing education, free screening, and cancer support services to those in underserved areas. Because of this organization’s work, more than 305,000 women received free mammograms and other screening services. Some 1.7 million patients have accessed the organization’s cancer support services, helping them navigate the confusing and often scary world of cancer treatment.
Besides the practical support, NBCF also offers emotional support to all its clients. Cancer patients and survivors can attend local group meetings, connect with other patients and survivors, and access various emotional and mental health programs as they navigate their journeys.
“NBCF has been alongside my journey every step of the way, offering such great support and assistance however I need. I have attended monthly support group meetings, toured their beautiful new facility, and been the recipient of the very special “Hope Kit.” Their staff is extremely attentive, and I am so blessed to have benefitted from their wonderful care!”
-Emily Dickson, Client Served
Yorktown Heights, NY
Support Connection links breast and ovarian cancer survivors with newly diagnosed patients, providing one-on-one peer support. The organization also offers information and education to patients and their families, helping everyone make informed healthcare decisions.
This “survivor-to-survivor approach” is key to Support Connection’s success. Each counselor has been down the path, giving her a unique perspective to share with others. From practical tips on treatment centers and medical procedures to emotional support and connection, Support Connection provides a holistic approach to breast cancer support.
All services are completely free. They’re available to survivors when they need them, for as long as they’re needed, no matter where a woman is on her breast or ovarian cancer journey.
“Even as a physician myself, I have never encountered a group as compassionate and supportive as Support Connection. In my hours of greatest need during my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, they were there for me when no one else was, even though the medical facilities I attended all had social workers and support groups. The level of commitment and availability of the women working at Support Connection was amazing. When I was unable to leave my home, they offered me solid advice and emotional support over the phone. They understand the whole picture of the needs of women with female cancers. I am so grateful for their existence. Kindness, compassion, empathy, openness, knowledge- they have it all.”
-WKKahn, Client Served
Know Your Lemons uses creative and humorous marketing to reach a broad audience. Their highly engaging media campaigns raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and encourage women and men to perform monthly breast exams.
The colorful graphics are simple and effective. They’re also easily sharable, giving more women the information and tools they need to take charge of their health. By putting a light-hearted twist on breast cancer detection, Know Your Lemons helps destigmatize breast cancer. The more we can talk about breast cancer screening, the more women will detect changes and seek medical care early.
This organization promotes self-awareness and early detection. To date, their campaigns have reached more than 1 billion people online. It’s impossible to know how many lives have been saved because of Know Your Lemons, but the award-winning program has undoubtedly led to life-saving early diagnoses.
“One of the main reasons I found my breast cancer lump was from seeing the iconic lemon cart picture that Know Your Lemons created! It told me all the symptoms to feel for, and it turned out that I had one of them! I found mine early due to the hard work Know Your Lemons has done! I have subsequently joined their team as a global educator, and they have been so welcoming!”
-lynseywhite, Client Served
This list only scratches the surface; many other wonderful organizations are dedicated to breast cancer education, research, treatment, and support. Learn more about these nonprofits by visiting our website, GreatNonprofits.org.