Two of my mom's best friends—one right after the other—have recently passed away due to breast cancer. One of her best friends battled breast cancer for 23 years before succumbing. The other friend had a short but extremely painful six-year battle before giving in. Breast cancer doesn’t run in our family, but it has still hit us very close to home, and no one is immune from risk.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are many ways to get involved and show your support. These six ideas offer you options that include gifts of time, funds and education. While October is the "official" month to support breast cancer awareness, you can show your support all year long in each of these ways and more.

1. Shop pink

Even if breast cancer has not personally affected you, you have likely noticed the rise in the number of "pink" products on the market today, many bearing the breast cancer hope logo. These products are designed specifically to donate a portion of sales proceeds to benefit breast cancer awareness.

Here are some ideas to find the perfect pink products:

  • Everyone from Oakley sunglasses to the Ellen Show are offering pink products this fall. Just Google "shop pink + item you want" and see what comes up!
  • The Greater Good store: Shop pink on the Greater Good store and directly help to fund mammograms, research and care.

2. Support the National Breast Cancer Foundation

There are five ways you can support breast cancer awareness by visiting the NBCF website.

  • Donate: Make a one-time or recurring donation.
  • Volunteer: You can volunteer virtually (online) or in person.
  • Fundraise: You can join an existing event to help with fundraising, create a personal fundraising page, and more.
  • Sponsor: If your company is interested in sponsoring an event, you can work with the NBCF to create a customized campaign.
  • Planned Giving: You can remember NBCF in your will.

3. Give to breast cancer awareness and/or shop pink this holiday season

If you have been personally impacted by breast cancer first- or secondhand, what better way to honor this important cause than by giving pink products as gifts this holiday season, and/or donating a holiday offering in your gift recipients' names!

Note: This is also a great way to stick to your holiday gift budget, because you can give in any amount, and pink products are so popular you can find something perfect at any point along the price spectrum.

4. Shop with merchants who support breast cancer awareness

Certain retailers and online merchants have programs set up to support breast cancer awareness on an ongoing basis.

Here are some sites that support breast cancer awareness when you shop:

  • We-Care: Shop online and earn donations that support
  • Amazon Smile: Just type in "breast cancer" and choose the charity you want to support.
  • Good Shop: Shop and support the breast cancer charity of your choice.
  • eBay's Giving Works: Choose your donation amount (%) and your charity.

5. Males get breast cancer too

It’s not a well-known fact, and certainly less men than women are affected, but for every man who is affected, statistics do not matter. As well, in families with a genetic risk, the gene passes to both females and males. This year alone, more than 2,300 men will be diagnosed and more than 400 will die due to breast cancer.

6. Get screened—low cost and free screenings are available if you qualify

Each year, the 3rd Friday in October is designated at National Mammography Day. But you don't have to wait until this date rolls around again to get screened. The biggest favor you can do for yourself and your loved ones—whether or not you are female or male or have a family history of breast cancer—is to get screened and learn how to do a breast self-exam regularly at home.


6 Ways to Shop and Support Breast Cancer Awareness