The month of October has been known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States since 1985, and every year we at Winston’s Chimney Service strive to do our part to contribute as much as possible to the sponsoring charitable organization, the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
We are donating 5% of all of the chimney sweeps we perform during the entire month of October to the NBCF.
By scheduling your annual chimney sweeping during October, you are helping us raise money for this important charity. We also encourage you to make your own donation to the NBCF.
What Is the Mission of the NBCF?
Founded by breast cancer survivor, Janelle Hail, the NBCF serves to help women all over the world who have been affected by breast cancer by providing early detection opportunities, educational information, and support services.
In the United States, 1 out of every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. With no cure, early detection of this disease is crucial for survival. This is why the National Cancer Institute has recommended that women over the age of 40 should have annual mammogram screenings and that all women should have regular clinical breast exams – these are the most effective ways of detecting breast cancer in its early stages.
However, because the costs of healthcare are always rising and due to the sizable percentage of uninsured women unable to afford this care, the NCBF provides free mammograms to women in every state in their network of hospitals.
What Other Services Does the NBCF Provide to Fulfill Their Mission?
In addition to providing free mammograms to women across the country, the NBCF offers the valuable online resource, Beyond the Shock, to women who have been affected by breast cancer. On this website, women can learn about the disease, ask questions and get answers, and hear real stories from people. Loved ones can also visit the site to get a better understanding of breast cancer, and doctors can share information as well.
The NBCF also partners with Convoy of Hope to educate women about breast cancer and early detection at community outreaches across the country. This truly helps to get the word out about how important regular breast exams and mammograms are to everyone.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Every woman should know how to perform breast self-exams and how to recognize what the early signs of breast cancer are. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), the signs include the following:
- Changes in how breasts/nipples feel. These changes include tenderness in the nipple and thickening in the breast or underarm area, changes in the texture of the skin on the breast, an enlargement of pores of the skin on the breast, and a lump in the breast. If you feel a lump, you should contact your health care provider immediately to investigate this lump. Keep in mind that not all lumps are cancerous.
- Changes in breast/nipple appearance. Any unexplained appearance changes of the breast or nipple can also be signs of breast cancer. You should be looking for dimpling on the breast, unexplained shrinkage or swelling (especially if it is only on one side), nipple that has become inverted or inward, and scaly, red, or swollen skin of the breast, areola, or nipple. Also, look for ridges or pitting on the skin that resembles the skin of the orange. Although it is normal to have slight asymmetry of the breasts, any recent changes in the symmetry can also be a sign of breast cancer.
- Unusual discharge. If you ever notice clear or bloody discharge from your nipples, contact your health care provider to check your breasts. Even though a milky discharge is not linked to breast cancer, it should still be checked if you are not currently breastfeeding.
If you do not know how to perform a breast self-exam, we encourage you to visit NBCF’s website to learn how.
Again, Winston’s Chimney Service would like to thank our customers for helping us raise money for this important cause. If you would like to know more about the NBCF, contact us to learn more about how you can help them fight the good fight.
Support the Fight – Schedule Your Sweep Today
Help us fight breast cancer by scheduling your annual chimney sweeping this month. Contact us at Winston’s Chimney Service to learn more about making a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.