From t-shirts to cereal boxes to football cleats, everywhere we look during October, pink was the fashion. Congratulations to all who participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It had an incredible impact on our society as well as those who suffer from the disease—men and women alike.
Robby Slaughter, principal of AccelaWork, was featured in an edition of Health Minute Magazine with an article he wrote highlighting the misconceptions, effects, and ongoing stereotypes that accompany breast cancer. In Health, Gender, and Productivity, Slaughter recognizes the difficulty that comes with tackling the debilitating disease, but reaffirms the importance for healthful, productive choices:
The stress impacts family, friends, and colleagues. Lives are interrupted. When a serious condition strikes, productivity drops throughout the patient’s network of contacts.
. . .
take [a] minute to recognize that the process of tackling this terrifying condition is roughly the same as every other approach to improving health, well-being and productivity. Make healthy choices at work and conduct regular checkups.”
The full article is below:
Health, Gender and Productivity
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The efforts of countless health industry professionals, advocates and survivors around the country should not go unnoticed. It might seem like breast health has nothing to do with productivity, in the same way that most of us would assume that breast cancer only affects women. Both of these claims are untrue.
First, the American Cancer Society estimates that 1,720 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. That might number might be dwarfed by cases among women, but it’s flat out wrong to suggest that men cannot be afflicted by this tragic disease.
Second, we should be reminded that although cancer may not be a communicable disease, its effects are far-reaching. The stress impacts family, friends and colleagues. Lives are interrupted. When a serious condition strikes, productivity drops throughout the patient’s network of contacts. We are all called to be even more supportive and the same time less focused on our everyday responsibilities.
There’s more to the conversation about health, gender and productivity than just these misconceptions. In our culture, we draw many unfair separations between men and women, between work and play, and between healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Many women are effective at work because they detail-oriented; many men because they have vision and see the big picture. That doesn’t mean the opposite gender can’t provide great insights in areas that might be unexpected. Rather, it means that we need to pay closer attention to our unwitting use of stereotypes, like the tacit assumption that men don’t get breast cancer.
Furthermore, the story of breast cancer mirrors the same path of many other serious conditions and challenges in our lives. We know that making healthy choices—such as staying physically active and reducing fats and alcohol in our diets—can reduce the risk of breast cancer. We know that regular screenings can detect problems early—and increase our chances for survival. What else is positively affected by making smart, healthy choices? The obvious answer: practically everything worth doing!
Take a minute in October to support the cause of breast cancer awareness. But take another minute to recognize that the process of tackling this terrifying condition is roughly the same as every other approach to improving health, well-being, and productivity. Make healthy choices at work and conduct regular checkups. Keep yourself on track for an effective, enjoyable satisfying life everywhere you go!
As always, you can learn more about making healthy, productive choices by contacting the business improvement consultants at AccelaWork today! Don’t wait to get your life and business headed in the right direction.