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breast cancer

breast cancer awareness, cyberactivism, mobilization

It’s October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. Prepare for pink bows and mammogram reminders everywhere. Having known several women who have battled breast cancer, I strongly believe in advocating for the cause.

Having a blog gives me the unique opportunity of having an established platform for amplification for social causes. I want to help make an actual difference, not just talk about it. I want to be an agent for change and use my voice and my power to make the world a better place for my children. But it’s not always easy. Screaming into a void is not being a catalyst for change. Loud isn’t necessarily effective. My parents taught me that if I was going to say something, I should make sure that I’m saying something.

READ ALSO: How to be Proactive about Your Breast Health

How do you choose what you share on social media? None of us are mindlessly sharing. At the root of it, there is something worth sharing to us about that information. Do you ever really share something if it doesn’t appeal to one of your emotions? Whether its laughter, righteousness, justice, empathy or commiseration, there is a reason.

How many times have you written a social media post and really wanted to call people to action? Motivate or inspire them to take action and be the change they want to see in the world? This is called mobilization in the marketing world. Mobilization is defined as the process by which candidates, parties, activists and groups induce other people to participate. Many of us have used mobilization, maybe without even realizing it, this campaign season.

If you want to incite behavior change using social media, cyberactivism must be a part of your strategy. Cyberactivism is the process of using Internet-based socializing and communication techniques to create, operate and manage activism of any type. I’ve done this myself on many occasions.

READ ALSO: Sometimes the only option isn’t the right one

Things that happen to us in our lives, make us first-person advocates. Authentic calls to action are usually met with empathy, understanding and action from friends. The more scared you are to hit the publish button, the more effective the message. The more people who see the message, the more who can actively do something to to help the cause.

People like to do the right thing. Maybe they don’t have the money to donate but hitting the like button or sharing a status update for a good cause is easy enough for anyone to do but if it’s not clear does it bring the right kind of attention to the cause? How do we take the idea of cyberactivism and meaninglessly hitting a like button and transform that into real activism, in real life mobilization?

Every October, many people celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There was a popular Facebook meme where a private Facebook message request that asked women to put a single color as their status update. The color was to reflect the color of the bra they were wearing. It was simple, share your name and color (of your bra) for example, Debi, Red. The idea was that everyone would see the status and be curious.

READ ALSO: How uterine fibroids almost killed me

Another meme asked women to change their status to where they like to put their purse. Yet, another one asked for ladies to post the number of minutes it takes to do their hair followed by the word inches. These memes were great gimmicks to grab attention and get likes and shares but did they really raising awareness for breast cancer? How are these memes activating mobilization to cure breast cancer?

This kind of cyberactivism is superficial, there needs to be something of more substance; a more effective call to action. Sharing and liking funny or provocative Facebook statuses won’t cure breast cancer and don’t call the right kind of attention to the cause. Is awareness even the issue?

How can cyberactivism be more meaningful and effective this Breast Care Awareness month?

Why is Breast Cancer Awareness month associated with pink when it’s not just a female disease? Men can get breast cancer too. To be launch an effective social media mobilization campaign, we need to know what the actual issue and provide people with real-life actionable items to help the cause;

  • A list of where/ how to volunteer to help people with breast cancer.
  • How/where to donate.
  • Sign petitions.

Make people more aware of how to proactively care for themselves.

Knowledge is power and a lot more effective than sharing the color of a bra or where we like to it our purse. Most importantly, if you want to use your social media platforms to mobilize the masses to action, hit publish on those personal and authentic posts. Be relatable and it will move people to do more.

What will you do for your part to help prevent and cure breast cancer?


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mammogram, breast cancer, breast cancer awareness

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski but all opinions about breast cancer and breast health are my own.

Breast Cancer awareness is a big deal to me. It’s not about pink anything or freeing tatas or any of that. It’s about women’s health and helping those who are diagnosed survive. Cancer’s a bitch. Awareness is about a cure. It’s about keeping the women we love alive by teaching women to perform self-breast exams, to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and encouraging women to get their annual mammograms.

We women need to become more proactive about our breast health. We spend our lives putting other’s needs ahead of our own but they need us. We know that and if that’s the case, isn’t it our responsibility to take care of ourselves so that we can be around for them?

I get it, the thought of a mammogram is a bit daunting, especially your first one. I’ve had 2 and I was definitely a little nervous before the first one but it’s nothing. You get to wear a nifty half top, you go into a room and (if you’re lucky) a really nice nurse will explain it all to you and then she’ll situate your breast when she places it in the machine. It is a little snug. I am rather well-endowed and I have dense breast tissue and we have to make sure everything is in the scan. Honestly, the most uncomfortable thing about the whole thing is if your nurse has cold hands. Luckily, mine was courteous and warmed hers up first. It only takes a few minutes and it can save your life so get over yourself and do it.

There are a lot of great resources for women readily available to us these days like the National Breast Cancer Awareness organization.  Right now, you can sign up for a free e-book, The Breast Health Guide What every woman needs to know. It includes tips on how to be breast health aware and includes questions to ask your doctor.

I have friends who have survived breast cancer and I thank God for that. Luckily, as more is learned about breast cancer we can be more proactive in catching it before it infiltrates the rest of our body. Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, other than skin cancer and is the second leading cause of death in women. The scariest statistic? The chance of a woman developing breast cancer sometime in her/my/your lifetime is about 1 in 8.

We’ve made great strides in research and currently, we even have genetic screenings in place to look for the  BRCA1 and BRCA2 markers in women who might be predisposed to getting breast cancer but there is more to be done. We can’t stop until we eradicate this disease.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce tumor suppressor proteins. These proteins help repair damaged DNA and, therefore, play a role in ensuring the stability of the cell’s genetic material. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered, such that its protein product either is not made or does not function correctly, DNA damage may not be repaired properly. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.

Specific inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers, and they have been associated with increased risks of several additional types of cancer. Together, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for about 20 to 25 percent of hereditary breast cancers and about 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers. In addition, mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 account for around 15 percent of ovarian cancers overall. Breast and ovarian cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations tend to develop at younger ages than their nonhereditary counterparts.

A harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation can be inherited from a person’s mother or father. Each child of a parent who carries a mutation in one of these genes has a 50 percent chance (or 1 chance in 2) of inheriting the mutation. The effects of mutations in BRCA1 andBRCA2 are seen even when a person’s second copy of the gene is normal.

A woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.

Breast cancer: About 12 percent of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives. By contrast, according to the most recent estimates, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and around 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70 years.

 Ovarian cancer: About 1.3 percent of women in the general population will develop ovarian cancer sometime during their lives. By contrast, according to the most recent estimates, 39 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and 11 to 17 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop ovarian cancer by age 70 years.

We’ve all seen the Pink Ribbon, the universal symbol for breast health. But it’s much more than that. It’s an international symbol for hope for a cure and, to me, survival; either survival of one badass woman who beat breast cancer or a family member who survived losing someone to breast cancer. Either way, that little pink ribbon signifies female strength at the highest level.

Touchstone Crystal created some pieces in honor of the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative, which supports women in the fight against breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these products will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

To find out more, click here.

mammogram, breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, touchstone crystal

Touchstone provided me with a beautiful dainty Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness necklace. It’s absolutely gorgeous and so delicate and feminine. I love it but I’m sending mine on to a friend who just celebrated her 10th breast cancer-free anniversary. She found out she had breast cancer when her daughter was just a newborn. She is one of the kindest and sweetest women that I’ve ever known and the world would be a far less interesting place without her in it. She also happens to be a total badass cancer survivor.

Touchstone Crystal is also providing me a necklace to give to one lucky reader. For the chance to win one for yourself or to give to someone in your life who is struggling with or has survived cancer enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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