Shop til you drop. Cancer, schmancer, is what Fran Drescher (a uterine cancer survivor) says. She has teamed up with JPSelects.com—a site co-created by celebrity hairstylist Paul Mitchell and offering high-end fashion from emerging designers, eco-chic beauty products and luxury home products—for a nationwide shopping event September 26-October 2, where your entire purchase on all products on JPSelects.com will benefit Cancer Schmancer, www.cancerschmancer.org.
Feel yourself up. Do a breast self-exam and report any changes (including lumps, swelling, nipple pain or discharge) to your doctor.
Book a doc appointment. If you’re 40 or over and haven’t had a mammogram this year, you should get one.
Send a greeting card. When it comes to breast cancer, sometimes it’s hard to find the right words. Greeting Card Universe, www.greetingcarduniverse.com , offers several different customizable cards ($3 each) to create awareness, announce recovery progress, show support, celebrate being a survivor or humor cards to make the patient laugh.
Auction off a cast of your and your friends breasts! Organize a Cast Exhibition through the Keep a Breast Foundation, www.keep-a-breast.org.
Support your sisters, and wear pink—duh!
Put your blue jeans on. Lee National Denim Day, on October 7, is one of the largest single-day breast cancer fundraisers in the nation, benefiting the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s women’s cancer programs (www.eifoundation.org). How it works: Lee Jeans invites companies to go casual for a cause, inviting employees to wear their jeans to work on Denim Day in exchange for a $5 contribution to the fight against breast cancer. www.DenimDay.com
Pop some vitamin D. “Research released in the September 2011 issue of Anticancer Research found that those whose vitamin D was in the highest quartile were 39 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to those whose vitamin D was in the lowest quartile,” says Dr. John J. Cannell, executive director of the Vitamin D Council, who recommends getting it through sunlight exposure and vitamin D3 supplements. www.vitamindcouncil.org
Eat your fruits and veggies—more than 5 cups a day say the experts at Breastcancer.org. The U.S. National Cancer Institute estimates that one-third of all cancer deaths may be related to diet, but the good news is that many fruits, veggies, herbs and legumes found at your local grocery store or farmer’s market contain cancer-fighting properties and antioxidants that battle the damage caused by free radicals. The top foods for breast cancer protection: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage; dark leafy greens like kale and spinach; fruits like citrus, berries and cherries.
Buy a pair of sneakers and hit the pavement. “It has been shown that regular cardiovascular exercise decreases risk of breast cancer and improves survival for those who have it,” says Dr. Diane Radford of the Mercy St. Louis Cancer & Breast Institute. Exercising four or more hours a week may decrease hormone levels and help lower breast cancer risk, says the National Cancer Institute.
Sip a glass of red vino. Seattle’s Dr. Richard Baxter, author of Age Gets Better with Wine: New Science for a healthier, better and longer life says, “There’s powerful scientific evidence that resveratrol, a molecule found in red wine, may hold the key to preventing breast cancer.” But remember: that’s one glass. Drinking large amounts of alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.
Get a fun feather hair extension. Plume is donating 25 percent of their pink clip-in and individual feather hair extensions ($45) to the Keep A Breast Foundation, www.plumeyourhair.com
Buy the Pink Ribbon apron (so stylish!) from susanandveronica.com, benefitting Young Survival Coalition, www.youngsurvival.org.
Be informed on healthy living. Think Pink, Live Green provides practical tips for women who currently have or who have had breast cancer, such as choosing the safest sunscreens and cosmetics, buying organic at the grocery store and what cleaning and household products are safe to use to decrease the risk of cancer. www.breastcancer.org/
Read up on alternative therapies for prevention and treatment. It worked for Hollie Quinn, who wrote a book about it with her husband last year: www.youdidwhatbook.com .
Find out if your breasts are dense! About one-third of women over age 50 have dense breasts which makes mammograms more challenging, says Dr. Stacey Vitiello, a b reast imaging specialist at Montclair Breast Center in New Jersey. If they are dense and you are over 40, you need to have a screening test (breast ultrasound or MRI, depending on your other risk factors)in addition to your mammogram each year. Several states, including Connecticut, Texas and California, have recently passed bills requiring that women be informed about their breast density. www.AreYouDense.org
Flip for a cause. Through October, FlipOut Sandals will help stomp out this disease by donating 25 percent of proceeds to the American Cancer Society with every pair of pink Haute Jelly sandals ($59.99) purchased at www.flipoutsandals.com.
Donate to an organization that directly pays for cancer care. There are very few national organizations that do this! Find a list at www.ironwoodcrc.com.
Go local. Write or email your local government urging them to keep state Medicaid programs that help cancer patients. Many states are cutting their Medicaid programs, leaving many people without health insurance and unable to pay for care.
Talk to the feds. Write or email federal legislators urging them to remove the six-month waiting period for Pre-existing Condition Insurance, urges Melissa Veselovsky, director of patient Advocacy at the Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers, in Arizona, www.ironwoodcrc.com.
Stop smoking! If you didn’t already have enough reasons, studies show that there is a link between breast cancer and smoking and second-hand smoke.
Order pizza, pizza. Hungry Howie’s Pizza is serving their pizzas nationwide in bright pink boxes with breast cancer awareness ribbons this month. For every pie sold, the pizza chain will make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. www.hungryhowies.com
Help out. GiveForward provides personalized fundraising web pages for people facing a medical crisis, like breast cancer, so they can cover their out-of-pocket medical expenses. Friends and family can leave financial and emotional support for their loved ones. www.giveforward.com/
Food delivery. Mealtrain.com is a meal calendar tool that allows for the creation of a free, secure, private group that makes planning meals among a wide group easy, which has helped about 24,000 families receive over 205,000 meals made and delivered by friends.
Consider switching your method of birth control from the pill if you have a family history and are at high risk for breast cancer. There are conflicting studies out there, but some show that oral contraceptives may increase your risk, especially if you are over 45 years old.
Sport support. 4all by jofit makes women’s fitness, golf and tennis apparel and will donate proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure when you purchase the Jo-Polo or Jo-Sleeveless Polo in pink blush this October. www.4allbyjofit.com
Give a hug. Hug Wraps are hospital gown alternatives for cancer patients to wear during various treatments. Using all recycled material from pillows and blankets, these robes are meant to comfort. www.hugwraps.org
Clean green. “Most of our cancers are environmental and until the cleaning industry has to tell us what is in their products, I suggest making your own,” says Leslie Reichert , The Cleaning Coach and author of The Joy of Green Cleaning. She has recipes on her site: www.greencleaningcoach.com
Facebook friend. Each time you share your story on Pink Together’s Facebook page, leave a comment on other stories or send a virtual flower, $1 is donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. www.facebook.com/pinktogether.