How often do we as women, moms, partners, leaders, put the needs of others ahead of our own? We don’t skip our child’s annual check-up. We don’t skip reviewing quarterly budget reports. We don’t skip getting an oil change for the car. So then why are we so comfortable putting off our annual mammogram? For many women, it’s a matter of time (or lack of). For others, there isn’t an option for them to take 90 minutes off in the middle of the workday to go to a doctor’s appointment. And for some women, fear prevents them from going.

As we begin to see pink everywhere, Susan G. Komen® San Diego wants to remind you to be More Than Pink. No longer will we ask, “When should I get tested?” or “When is it okay to seek help?” or “When will I find the time?” The time for action is upon us. When? The time is now.

The greatest weapon we have against breast cancer is early detection and quality treatment. Click To Tweet

Add these four to-dos to your list this October and take control of your breast health.

Know your risk.

Talk to your family to learn about your family health history. Discuss with your doctor to learn about your personal risk of breast cancer.

Get Screened.

Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk. Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk. Every three years (at least), have a clinical breast exam starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40.

Know your normal.

  • See your healthcare provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:
  • Lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away

Make healthy lifestyle choices.

Do your best to maintain a healthy weight. Add exercise into your daily routine. Limit alcohol consumption.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 4 To-Dos for Every Female Entrepreneur

As female entrepreneurs and small-business owners, you may fall into a category of what we called “under-insured,” meaning you have insurance coverage, but the deductible and copays may be cost-prohibitive to get to the doctor. Komen San Diego is proud to step-in and helps women when these costs are preventing them from the care and treatment they need. *If you can’t afford a mammogram call Komen San Diego at (858) 573-2760 and click here to see the additional financial and diagnostic resources we provide.

Komen San Diego’s foundational goal is to achieve health equity for women. In many ways, this is the “Year of the Woman;” we have all watched in admiration as women speak up, use their voices, and talk about the unspoken. For many in San Diego County, the unspoken is breast cancer.

As much as we feel like we see pink everywhere, we know that there are entire communities and populations, right here in San Diego, that doesn’t talk about their diagnosis. They don’t share their family history or their abnormal mammogram results. And they don’t talk about their health challenges. So, Komen San Diego is here to be their voice. To be your voice.

Act. Donate. Get Involved.

Shaina Gross is the President & CEO of Susan G. Komen San Diego and spent her career working on issues of women’s health, equity, and education. Shaina received her BA in Sociology and a Master’s in Public Health, both from the University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill. She is a LEAD San Diego graduate and a Women Who Mean Business award winner. She and her husband live in Mission Hills with their 2-year old son where you can find them at concerts in the park or just spending family time together.

Connect with Shaina on Twitter | @KomenSanDiego