• Shannon Campbell

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

When the month of October rolls around, many think about the cute fall sweaters and jeans they need to buy -- Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin patches, Halloween costumes, and the leaves changing color. However, October is also breast cancer awareness month; starting from October 1st and ending on October 31st. To many, this could mean a variety of things: whether it be knowing someone who has breast cancer, donating to a foundation, wearing pink shirts or ribbons, or hosting a fundraiser in support of breast cancer survivors and patients.

In the United States alone 44,000 people and more than 685,000 people worldwide lose their life to metastatic breast cancer each year. About 1 in 8 women and 1 in 833 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Cancer is known as a disease that affects the person who receives the diagnosis as well as everyone around them. Cancer, to put it simply, sucks. It's tough to watch someone that you know or love physically fight for their life against a disease that could take them away from you.

Every 2 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. One of the main signs of breast cancer is a lump that is located in the breast itself. Although there is still no cure for cancer, some types of treatment that someone can receive are radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or lumpectomy surgery. The surgery itself is a procedure that entails the removal of cancer and a margin of the normal tissue surrounding cancer. Depending on the person's stage, the surgery may be followed up by radiation therapy if the cancer is invasive. Radiation treatment is the use of high-energy beams to kill the cells. This treatment can be given in combination with chemotherapy. This option is available to those who cannot tolerate surgery or can be in combination with surgery and chemotherapy.

Many organizations have been formed to spread awareness and raise money for patients, their families, and survivors. Some of these organizations include the following: American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and National Breast Cancer Foundation. These organizations have helped families of patients & survivors, and furthered the research of what causes breast cancer, and paved a way to find the cure to cancer. Others can raise awareness for this type of cancer during October by decorating things in pink, whether that be a door, dying your hair, or creating a bulletin board. People can also host events and fundraisers to help raise money for a particular foundation and give all the proceeds to that foundation.

Cancer is a physical and psychological burden. By helping raise awareness of the effects of cancer and the hardships that many families go through when a loved one has cancer, can help ease the daunting and challenging disease. Bringing awareness and donating to the cause of wearing your pink shirts or ribbons can help bring a community together in raising awareness of a life-threatening disease.

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