Happy October, everyone!
October is, by far, my favorite month of the year. It becomes oh-so-slightly cooler here in Texas and it’s the start of the fun holiday season. Halloween is like Picky Christmas, and I celebrate by stuffing my craw with mountains of candy. 🙂
October is near and dear to my heart for another reason, too. It’s breast cancer awareness month, y’all!
For those who don’t know, I lost my grandma to breast cancer a handful of years ago. She put up a hell of a fight for ten years after her diagnosis, but we lost her at age 62.
But I don’t like to think about her with cancer.
I like to think of my Nanny for her Oklahoma drawl, the way she delightfully shrieked cuss words while playing board games, and how she always (and I mean always) decked out her house for every holiday from Easter to the Fourth of July. She was the nicest person in the whole damn world, and I miss her a lot.
“But Mrs. Picky Pincher, but what’s the frugality angle here?”
I’m glad you asked!
There is nothing more frugal than preventing future costs. And, sadly, cancer and other life-threatening diseases are financially catastrophic. According to a report by U.S. News, cancer patients can expect to pay upwards of $24,000 in out of pocket costs per year for treatment. And that’s assuming you have health insurance, which is another issue entirely.
However, if we can be aware of these diseases, as well as know how to prevent them, we can save money and life healthier, longer lives. This is why disease prevention is so important.
In the spirit of breast cancer awareness month, here’s some interesting factoids about breast cancer and its prevention:
- One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- 8 out of 10 breast cancer lumps are caught by women doing self-exams.
- An estimated 2,600 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Give your man-boobs some love, guys.
- The leading risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman. You increase your chances for breast cancer by smoking, being overweight, living a sedentary lifestyle, and drinking alcohol. Your cancer risk also increases as you age.
- The standard age to start getting annual mammograms is 40.
How and when to conduct a self-exam
Here’s my favorite resource for learning how to do self exams. Most doctors recommend a self-exam once a month, as well as a yearly exam by your physician. If you’re at a higher risk for breast cancer, your doctor might recommend more frequent clinical exams.
But you know what? I know how to do my self exams. The issue is that I’m lazy and forgetful. Fortunately there’s an app for that! My favorite is the Your Man Reminder. It’s a hilarious app that features hunky dudes in a Ryan Gosling-esque style to say, “Hey girl, remember to check yourself today.”
It’s hilarious and also reminds me to take care of bid’ness.
A note about charity and donations
Another important aspect of breast cancer awareness month is encouraging further research into cancer treatments and a cure. Donations and charities keep this good work going.
Unfortunately some “charities” aren’t as good as others. I don’t want to call people out here, but I’ll just say that we all need to be careful of the “Pink Washing” epidemic. People love to slap a pink ribbon on water bottles, but that doesn’t mean your money goes to research. Make sure your money is going to the cause.
Heavily research a charity before giving away your hard-earned cash.
The bottom line
There are a lot of worthy causes in the world that we should be aware of; breast cancer awareness just happens to be one that I’m passionate about. We have a lot of things on our minds these days, but it’s important to remember to conduct regular self-exams as well as exams with your doctor. Prevention and early detection are crucial for saving lives–and that’s damn frugal.
We want to know: How do you like to stay healthy?