(WVLT) -- October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you might be wondering what you can do to help support the cause, raise awareness, and reduce your own risk.
Every three minutes a woman finds out she has breast cancer. Now is the time to start thinking about what you can do.
We talked to Senior Associate Health Editor of Shape Magazine, Bahar Takhtehchian, on how to help in the fight against breast cancer. There are a lot of vendors out there this month selling items you can buy for breast cancer awareness:
-You can sign up for a Bank of America credit card -- specifically the pink ribbon banking. Every time you use that card, you're giving back to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. So far, Bank of America has raised $2.4 million with this program. To sign up, go to bankofamerica.com/komen.
-If you're into jewelry, check out Pandora's accessories. They have some charms and necklaces for sale in honor of breast cancer awareness month. They're made from 14k gold and there's a sterling silver option as well. If you purchase one, 5% of that retail price goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Go to pandora.net to order this jewelry.
-Caribou Coffee is also giving back for breast cancer research. They're selling "Amy's Blend," named after one of their roastmasters who lost her battle to breast cancer 16 years ago. When you purchase the "Amy's Blend" coffees or teas, 10% of those profits also go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Visit cariboucoffee.com to order.
The best way to support breast cancer is to protect yourself. Takhtehchian says, "At Shape we are all about educating women to live a healthier life, to stay active, to exercise and every October we devote the entire issue to breast cancer awareness because it is an issue that we're very passionate about and we want our readers to be aware of their own bodies so they can detect possible lumps, or just so they know that they should be thinking about breast cancer, no matter what their age."
Some ways to do this: "It's really all about prevention and detection. So at the age of 21 we recommend at Shape that everybody does monthly self exams. You want to try to do this right after your period. You want to do that exam in the shower or on the bed once a month. It's so important and we recommend that you do this just so you can be aware of how your body might be changing. If you find any lumps, if you find something that's questionable, then we recommend that you definitely go see the doctor. Also, it's about eating healthy and exercising. Studies show that people who tend to carry a little bit more weight or if they're obese, their chances of developing breast cancer do increase, so you want to get to the gym 4 to 5 times a week and eat your fuits and vegetables. You hear it all the time, but really it is true, says Takhtehchian.
For more information on breast cancer awareness visit Shape.com or buy October's issue of Shape magazine.