Happy Thursday, Bulls!

October is almost over and it’s taking “Pinktober” promotions with it. Do you know what all that pink means? Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in the United States. One-in-eight women will develop the disease in their lifetime, but don’t leave men out of the equation because they are susceptible too.

Campus Recreation, Student Health Services and the Maternal and Child Health Student Organization (MCHSO) brought breast cancer awareness to campus all month with Think Pink Fridays and the #PreventPink, but breast cancer awareness doesn’t end with October. There are several preventable risk factors, and an early prevention plan can help you take action to reduce those risks.  Check out these steps to keep awareness going past October and spread the word!

How can you prevent pink?

1. Learn your family history. You can inherit BRCA mutations, which will increase your risk for breast cancer. Find out who was diagnosed, at what age and on which side of your family.

2. Know the signs and symptoms. Changes in shape, pronounced lumps or discharge are some things you should look for during self-exams. A cancerous lump will feel like a hard, nodule different from the rest of your breast tissue. Check out a full list of symptoms here.

3. Get to know your body. How are you supposed to know what cancer feels like? If you’re not familiar with your regular breast size and shape, you may not recognize irregularities or symptoms. Remember to take a look and feel of the whole area! Breast tissue goes all the way up to your collarbone and can extend behind the armpit.

4. Assess your risk factors. Some risk factors you can’t control, like your genetics. However, we all have the power to manage our risk with a few healthy changes. For example, alcohol consumption, physical activity and diet are all habits linked to breast cancer. Assess your risk with this short quiz.

5. Practice prevention. Once you know your risks, you can move toward protecting yourself. Check out these well-known tips for prevention and early detection:

  • Practice monthly self-examinations. This app is here to remind you.
  • Maintain healthy body weight. Track your BMI here or get a full body analysis with the InBody in the Wellness Center. 
  • Limit your fat and red meat intake and eat more fruits and veggies. Check out vegetarian recipes here.
  • Increase physical activity to at least 30 minutes, five days a week. 
  • Reduce or eliminate smoking and alcohol consumption.