Breast cancer remains one of the most terrifying cancer diagnoses to receive. While this form of cancer impacts both women and men, it remains the second leading cause of death for women and is expected to kill 41,760 women this year.
There remain many myths surrounding breast cancer. As we focus on National Breast Cancer Awareness in the month of October, we want to test your knowledge on this disease. Ask yourself on each of the following statements, is it a myth or a fact?
- Breast cancer is one of the most contagious forms of cancer.
- Mammograms spread cancer.
- Men never get breast cancer.
- Most women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
In fact, all of the above statements are myths. Further, what many people do not realize is that according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation “breast cancer death rates declined 40% from 1989 to 2016 among women. The progress is attributed to improvements in early detection.” Baby Boomer women, however, do have an increased reason to be concerned, however, because the two most significant risk factors are gender and increased age.
Even though the disease mortality rate may be on the decline, this does not mitigate the situation when you or a loved one is diagnosed. You may be asking yourself: What can I do as a Baby Boomer, or an adult child, to help those I love? We would encourage you to consider these four resources:
- Learn more and engage with the “Beyond The Shock” Program. This is an initiative created to provide a twenty-four hour a day dedicated online support group where breast cancer survivors are available to answer questions, provide support, and create a strong community for newly diagnosed patients.
- Consider the GriefShare Program. This support program was created for the survivors of those who battled cancer during their lifetime. It was created to be able to support those who have experienced the loss of a loved one and need support.
- Discuss your health care focused estate planning with your attorney. There is never a time when it is “too early” to plan but, especially in light of a new diagnosis, you never want to wait until it is “too late”. This means you need to create an estate plan while you are able to make your decisions that includes health care planning documents so that your loved ones will know who has the legal authority to make decisions and what your wishes are for those decisions. If you put off planning, then you may become incapacitated and unable to make these choices for yourself.
- Discuss with your attorney making charitable planning a priority. Many of our clients today add charitable planning goals and legacy gifts to their estate plan. There are specific charities, such as the ones mentioned above, and others like Locks of Love, who you are able to support during your lifetime or after you are gone. Whether you are creating this gift through your last will and testament or trust agreement, remember that it is critical to create this devise the way the intended charity would prefer. Do not wait to ask us more on how to create the right language in your estate planning documents.
We know just how difficult a time this can be. Whether you are planning for yourself or for a loved one, do not wait to contact us. Our knowledgeable legal team is ready, willing, and able to help you create an estate plan or long-term care plan to deal with any of the challenges you may be facing today, or well in the future.