Six tech tools for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month may be winding down, but there's still time to get involved! According to the National Institute of Health, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of a lifetime. Between community events, online petitions, donations, and various walks and runs, it can be hard to know where to start offering support. To that end, we’ve rounded up five apps and one web-based resource that support the cause with educational tools, donation options, and inspiration for breast cancer survivors and their friends and family.
Keep A Breast (free, iOS)
When it comes to fighting breast cancer, prevention is half the battle. The Keep A Breast Foundation Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention App is all about helping young women keep a watchful eye for potential early stages of breast cancer, while also educating them on making choices and developing habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.The app offers several tools, including “Check Yourself”, which is a thorough, step-by-step guide on how to do a proper self-exam. Each step has simple but useful illustrations for those who have never examined themselves before. Another feature is an automatic reminder to do a self-exam at the same time each month. In addition, the app integrates the Keep A Breast blog, which offers information on the Foundation’s activities. The blog is a great way to keep up with the Foundation’s many activities, including art events, educational programs, and fundraising.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure (free, Android)
If there’s one phrase that comes to mind when thinking about the fight against breast cancer, it’s Susan G. Komen for the Cure. There are innumerable ways to get involved with this particular organization, including right from the eponymous website. Another option? Download the free Susan G. Komen for the Cure app for Android and support the cause right from your handheld device.
The app is extremely simple and straightforward while providing a fairly comprehensive set of features. Show your support for the cause by displaying the pink ribbon in your status bar. You can also choose from a variety of pink ribbon wallpapers, donate by text (it‘s an automatic $10 donation), or share your own story, which takes you directly to the Susan G. Komen website. There’s also a Share with Friends option for spreading awareness, as well as a button that takes you to the About section of the aforementioned site.
Runtastic Pedometer with Avon Walk for Breast Cancer upgrade (free, Android and iOS)
For those who prefer to support the fight against breast cancer by getting off the couch and getting active, the Avon Walk Pedometer is just the ticket. At the basic level, the app works as a standard pedometer: It automatically records all of your steps, provides stats on your activity, counts calories, and calculates your speed, distance, and pace. The Walk For Breast Cancer upgrade lets you share your achievements on social media as a means to encourage donations from friends and family.
It‘s important to note that this is not a standalone app, but an upgrade to the Runtastic Pedometer. To get the Avon Walk upgrade, you must first download the free version of Runtastic Pedometer from either iTunes or the Google Play Store. Once you’ve installed the app, go to the settings sections and enter promo code RTPR-AVON2012.
Bliss HD+ ($1.99, iOS)
Who says you can’t have some fun while supporting a great cause? Certainly not the folks at Mobile Deluxe, creators of Bliss HD+. Fifty-percent of the proceeds from the purchase of this game are donated to Breast Cancer Awareness partner, The Beautiful Day Foundation. In addition to providing hours of relaxing, puzzle-style gameplay (which can in itself be useful for those undergoing treatment), Bliss HD+ lets players earn and combine points to unlock ribbons that can then be redeemed toward donations at Bliss Donations. For every ribbon code entered on the site, Mobile Deluxe donates $0.20 toward the cause. So far, gamers have helped to raise $7,500.
Breast Cancer Awareness Office ($0.99, iOS)
Breast Cancer Awareness Office is a nice, if basic, utility app that’s suitable for a breast cancer survivor or a supporter of the cause. Yes, the interface is painted in the quintessential pink hues of the movement, but what makes it more appealing is the fact that a portion of all proceeds from the sale of this app will go to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure to help fund breast cancer research.
And you get a little something useful and inspirational in addition to your donation. The app includes a memo pad, a pink ribbon calculator, and a flashlight. A nice additional touch is that with one simple click, you can email any of your notes to your contacts. Each note includes a pink Gerbera daisy and pink ribbon, allowing you to spread awareness and show your support in the fight against breast cancer.
National Breast Cancer Foundation (free, online)
If apps aren’t your style, there are plenty of web-based services that can help you get involved with the cause. One of the best resources we’ve come across is the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This well-designed website provides a plethora of information on breast cancer, including early detection, stages, treatments, and myths.
Education is a major focus of the site, with graphical videos that break down complex medical terms, such as Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. You can hop into the NBCF’s educational resource site Beyond The Shock to view frequently asked question, ask your own questions, and read personal stories. Beyond the Shock also offers apps for iPhone and iPad for those who want to access this information on the go.
To help promote awareness, each subsection of the site includes a social-media plug-in that allows you to share the information via Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. For instance, you can link directly to a section that will inform your network how often to perform a breast self-exam. The NBCF also provides an extensive array of options on how you can help, from donation to fundraising to volunteering, all of which focus on providing mammograms, education, and support services to women in need.
Image of Avon Walk for Breast Cancer participants courtesy of Veronika Matejkova/Shutterstock.com