It’s October. That means pink ribbons on lapels, store shelves, and even burly NFL players. Of course I’m referring to Breast Cancer Awareness, which by now is nearly synonymous with the color pink. This is the annual drive to raise money for new treatments and encourage more and more women to undergo mammograms as a means of early detection.

Unfortunately, the nature of early detection and treatment has one big downside: it doesn’t PREVENT cancer! 

Early detection methods like self-checks, mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, and even thermography require the presence of a disease or problem before it can find anything. So by the time a radiologist finds a suspicious area on a mammogram, it already exists!

Prevention is about taking proactive steps, usually lifestyle-related, to improve your health so that sickness and disease are less likely to develop. Studies have found that an unhealthy lifestyle is responsible for a large percentage of cancers and other chronic diseases. That means you have the power to change your lifestyle and reduce your chance of developing cancer!  How great is that?

Rather than waiting until you develop a disease, you can improve your diet, increase your exercise, reduce your toxin levels, and strengthen your immune system BEFORE cancer has the chance to take over your body!

Don’t get me wrong, if you have a disease then early detection and appropriate treatment is certainly important and going to help, but you shouldn’t wait for a diagnosis to take action.  Your health is far too valuable to take a “let’s wait until it breaks” approach. If we want to make people aware of something, let’s make them aware of ways to prevent breast cancer…things like breastfeeding, eating well, exercising, and reducing exposure to environmental carcinogens. That’s an awareness campaign we deserve!