Along with candy corn and pumpkins, pink ribbons are popping up everywhere. Is buying products with pink lids the best way for you to make a difference for patients with breast cancer?
Medical reporter Liz Szabo suggests you can get more bang for your buck by pursuing more practical ways of Supporting People with Cancer All Year Long.
- GET A FLU SHOT Rolling up your sleeve to be immunized is not just about you. Vaccination decreases the chance you'll unintentionally expose patients with damaged immune systems to the life-threatening infection. If your influenza infection is incubating or you have mild symptoms, you don't know to avoid people with an impaired immune system.
- DONATE DIRECTLY to a cancer organization, instead of buying a product that donates only a few pennies of your dollar.
- DONATE BLOOD. Blood banks depend on donations to keep their supplies plentiful. Your blood may be life-saving, especially if you have a less common type of blood.
- REGISTER TO BE A MARROW DONOR. For many patients, a stem cell transplant is the only way to save their life. My siblings' blood is incompatible with mine. So if I ever need a transplant, I'd be one of the many patients who are dependent on donors.
- VOLUNTEER FOR A RESEARCH STUDY. You can serve as a control or participate in a prevention trial.
- SHOW COMPASSION OVER THE LONG HAUL. Support for patients often disappears as the excitement of a new diagnosis is replaced by the drudgery of ongoing treatment. Continue caring.