Breast cancer is a widespread disease in America, In fact every 13 minutes one woman will lose her life to it. In order to spread knowledge about preventive measures and the disease itself, the month of October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
An estimated 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Even so in the past information about breast cancer was not as available as it is today.
“I went to the library, and I remember sitting in the Nora Library on the floor with every book i could find about breast cancer reading about treatments and surgeries and so forth because you couldn’t find out (information about breast cancer) like you can today,” Breast cancer survivor Donna Marsh explained. She was diagnosed in 1989.
This kind of information can save lives. Most experts recommend having mammograms to catch breast cancer early, but this doesn’t always work. Knowledge of the symptoms is crucial in order to individually detect breast cancer.
“I had just had a mammogram and it was fine… but then I found an unusual bump. So I called my internist who then sent me to a surgeon (who) had different tests and finally a biopsy and discovered it was cancer, so I really discovered it on my own.” Marsh said.
Now information on breast cancer is far more easily accessible, and breast cancer awareness month is a contributing factor. Studies have shown web searches for breast cancer spike during October. This widespread information is critical to catching breast cancer early and letting women know their options going forward after diagnosis.
Many businesses also contribute to breast cancer awareness month by putting pink ribbons on products or coloring the products pink during October. But some experts say that this doesn’t do a lot of good. While most of these businesses donate some part of their profits from the product to breast cancer research, they don’t generally inform the consumer about breast cancer or breast cancer awareness month.
“I haven’t heard anything about it,” sophomore Isaac Anthony said.
One business that does support breast cancer is the NFL. The NFL launches the program “A Crucial Catch”, having the players and coaches wear some pink apparel, along with putting pink ribbon stencils on the field and using pink coins to do the flips. The apparel and coins are auctioned off, and the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society’s “CHANGE” program. This program has so far raised over 4.5 million dollars.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month may not be a perfect way to inform the public, but it serves an important role. It spreads information about breast cancer to the nation and it can help save millions of lives.
Photo from The PostScript