You’ll notice that my blog and social media (links below) have all been turned pink because, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month stores will fill a section of their building with all things pink, NFL teams will wear pink with their uniforms, and money will be raised all over the country for research and treatments.
I’ve always supported breast cancer awareness because I always thought that it was a good cause (just like wearing red for cardiac care or purple for domestic violence awareness). However, now I support this cause for much more personal reasons. When I was a freshman in college my Aunt Helen was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. We got her diagnosis on September 7th which is also a friends birthday. We had plans to go out that night and I was trying really hard to not dampen the mood while we were supposed to be celebrating.
My aunt called me, and she said not to worry because she felt positive that everything would work out fine. She was doing well for a while. She was responding well to treatment,s although chemo really wore her down. After about 6 months her health started to decline again, and her doctor started on a newer more aggressive treatment. She responded really well to it but despite the progress, she progressed to Stage 4. The day that she died, I was a sophomore. I woke up in a really strange mood but brushed it off and assumed it was nothing. My friend and I decided to go to Starbucks before class that day and my mom called to give me the news.
Since then our family have gotten more involved in supporting the cause locally. Participating in the Breast Cancer Walk every year, raising money when we celebrate her birthday and donating it and simple things like that.
With that said, I’ve listed a few things that I think people should know about breast cancer specifically:
- 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer
- Breast cancer does not only affect women. About 2,000 are diagnosed annually
- About 85% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of it
- There are 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S.
Below I will leave links to a few resources including how to do a breast exam at home.