Breast Cancer Awareness 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it’s a time not just for donating but raising awareness to those not yet affected by the devestating disease. I know that for many, mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, friends, and family have been lost, which is why early detection is key. The message of October, for me, has always been about spreading this knowledge. Anyone can get breast cancer–male or female–and chances of survival are greatly improved if it is detected early.   Make sure you know your risk factors, the ones you can’t change but also the ones you can (like lifestyle behaviors).

Get Tested

  • Mammogram | This is an x-ray and can detect cancer at earlier stages, even before a lump appears. Women over 40 should have one performed every year, and if you are younger but have a family history of breast cancer, you may want to speak with your doctor about whether to get them (or other screening tests) performed earlier. Read more on mammograms.
  • Clinical Breast Exam | This is done by your doctor and part of a general exam, which should be done every three years between 20 and 39, and then every year at 40 and older. Consider asking your doctor to show you how to do a self-exam at home as well.
  • Self-Exam | It’s important to know how your breasts look and feel normally, so that you can identify any changes immediately to your doctor. has a great step-by-step guide.

And also? While we’re on this topic, and because I know the demographic here on Temptalia skews younger, so for our ladies under 26, please consider finding out whether you’re a candidate for the HPV vaccine, which can help prevent certain types of cervical cancers. Ask your doctor about it and see if it is something that you could benefit from.

Thoughts on BCA Products

When I first started Temptalia, I included several round-ups of various products involved in raising money for BCA. In the past two years that focus has lessened, because of the significant increase in brands hopping on the bandwagon. Any money raised is a great thing, but at the same time, buying a product that gives 5% back that you don’t really want or need under the auspices of helping the cause isn’t what October is about. I’m particularly leery of any product that does not specifically list the amount, e.g. “portion of proceeds” or “contribution will be made.”

For that reason, my focus is only brands/products that make significant efforts to donate and raise awareness. My motto is if you were going to buy that product anyway, why not buy one that donates X percentage/dollars to the cause?  (A lot of household items, like toilet paper and paper towels, give back!) But you’re better off donating your money (or even half of what you would have spent, in most cases) directly to a charity if you want to help.

  • Estee Lauder Companies offers a slew of products but they also do a fair amount of awareness raising. A lot of their core brands, like Clinique, offer bestselling products (e.g. something you might already buy or need to buy) that also give to the cause. I linked directly to the BCA Campaign, which includes a breakout of what brands and products are participating. Jo Malone is donating $25,000 and purchases of Jo Malone products have NO impact on that amount. Smashbox O-Gloss will donate the entire $22 purchase price to BCRF during October (AMAZING!). Most of the other brands have participating products but are only donating 10-20% of the purchase price.
  • Lisa Hoffman is donating 100% of proceeds of her Tunisian Neroli Variations 4-Vial Set ($95) to the National Breast Cancer Coalition during October.
  • Philosophy Shower for the Cure Shower Gel ($20) donates 100% of net proceeds towards Women’s Cancer Research Fund.
  • Jare Iredale Roses & Lollipop Lip Duo Locket ($30) will have 100% of profits from the sale go towards Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

If you know of a product that is donating all or most of proceeds towards the cause, feel free to let me know! I went through 200+ press releases, and these were the only ones I felt good about promoting.

Consider Donating

If and when you’re able to, consider donating to your preferred charity or organization. There are many available, and of course, all of them can benefit from additional donations. These are a few of the major organizations and some of these I’ve personally donated to over the years:

If there is another organization you’re thinking about donating to but aren’t sure about, look to see if they’ve been rated on Charity Navigator.