Breast Cancer is a form of cancer in the cells of the breast in which tissues continue to grow and multiply when they do not need to. It usually occurs in women, with the occasional man. As women get older, their risk for breast cancer increases. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign to recognize Breast Cancer patients and victims, and to stress the importance of catching Breast Cancer early and staying educated about the condition.
This year, the Tompkins PTA sold Breast Cancer Awareness shirts for $10 during lunch. Donating money directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on Nov. 19, or volunteering with breast cancer patients at a nearby hospital are just a few ways to show support. Sharing information or a personal story about the disease on social media also helps to educate and raise awareness. A simple way to show support is to wear a pink Breast Cancer pin for the month.
“My grandma had breast cancer two or three times and recently passed away due to cancer. I’m more passionate than the average person, especially since its played a role in my grandma’s passing. I’m very proud of how many times my grandma beat it,” said junior Tyler Logan.
Both men and women can get Breast Cancer, though it is much more common in women. In fact, US Breast Cancer statistics show that nearly 30 percent of female cancer patients are suffering from Breast Cancer, and 1 in 8 women will develop an invasive form of the disease during her lifetime. That is part of why Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created, to educate people and help them catch the disease early. If not found in time, it becomes more deadly and spreads, but Breast Cancer is not a death sentence. Like most cancers, if caught early, it is highly treatable.
“I feel like more people need to better understand what it is. When I was told, I didn’t think much of it, and now I would give anything to see her again,” said Logan.
There are over 3.5 million Breast Cancer survivors in the United States alone. If caught in stage zero, one, two, or three, surgery or radiation therapy with chemo is used to safely treat and contain the disease. People receiving Breast Cancer treatment in the form of chemotherapy experience difficult side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, nerve pain, fatigue, hair loss and weakness. Breast cancer, as with any cancer, is physically and emotionally draining. It is difficult to go through without a support system, and statistics show that cancer patients are at more risk for depression and suicide. Breast cancer is a painful disease, and getting through it requires a great deal of strength and resilience. This October, celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness to honor victims of Breast Cancer through volunteering or advocating.