Yes, October is now known for Pink Ribbons, advocacy and Awareness. It is a month of reminders to schedule and follow-through with those annual mammograms. Time to schedule those boob squish appointments! We all know that prevention is key; we know that Breast Cancer along with all Cancers will change lives and take lives if given the opportunity to invade precious bodies.
CANCER SUCKS… there is no if buts about it. This is the time to become pro-active if you aren’t already, and to Stand up to Cancer and for yourself or the memory of a loved one or someone who is in the fight for their lives. The time is NOW, the stakes have never been higher; as we read of more and more who have been diagnosed, those who are now finding themselves reliving memories of loved ones who have died from Cancer and miss them so very much. Knowledge is powerful medicine, it prompts us into action and to prevention as we move into our own way of doing and being advocates of a system that is larger than large. We can advocate from our computers, write letters to those in power asking/demanding for funds that allow the research for Cancer/MS/childhood diseases to be continued. We can support organizations doing grassroots work that will enable all to take advantage of mammograms and be able to get ahead of what could easily get out of control like a runaway train in their lives.
We can send men and women to the moon, can watch pharmaceutical companies create mind altering drugs that make us wonder how/why and for whose benefit; yet we still wait for the cure of Cancer of MS or HIV/AIDS. We can see the power of Apple and Iphones and technology that boggles the mind, yet we are stumped by the brilliance of research while jets fly in the sky and we see women and men go through the devastation of chemotherapy and radiation that burns the skin and is life changing as we wait for better than good news of what is on the horizon while pharmaceutical companies make millions of dollars from drugs that few can afford at the counter to keep Cancer on the other side of the door in their fight or insurance have denied them.
WE rely on some to come up with the generosity of donors and those philanthropists to provide care to those who cannot, and place life above ability to pay, and hope against hope that MD Anderson will allow one more admission in their brilliance of physicians to treat along with those specialists who still believe that they have a shot at putting patients above dollars in the desire to cure Cancer and restore a body to wellness.
Cancer is an uncomfortable conversation; talking about Breasts/prostate/anal cancer is hard for many, embarrassing for most. Breasts are something that is most accepted when seen on gorgeous women with voluptuous bodies in bathing suits, gowns that have plunging necklines and in what is called in Florida “Titty Bars” where they dance and are exotic in nature and by design.
Breasts are sexy, some men and women oogle at the sight, the thought of them, babies suck for milk… women get boob jobs to enhance, to lift to make perky, to make bigger, smaller, rounder, to do all sorts of things to and with… BUT no one wants to talk about the big “C”, when not viewed in that way; are used to feed the babes in private and not talked about so much. Breasts are used in cartoons, laughed about as they sag. Gravity is a cruel bitch sometimes… and Cancer sucks.
Breasts are not discussed when lumps are found, when fear is surging through the body and a call comes that a woman needs to return for an ultra sound, Breasts are not discussed on social media or at cocktail parties when the threat of loss is impending or has happened after a mastectomy or double mastectomy.
Remember the radio program discussing a woman who was at a beach topless. She was a warrior of breast cancer; had a double mastectomy and chose to be on a beach topless. It created tremendous controversy. The majority of men thought it was “just wrong” and basically in bad taste. Many women also agreed feeling it was “in bad taste”. It begged the question,
Men wear no shirts on the beach, many have what is called “man boobs” and are less than attractive actually when you are realistic about it. Yet a woman with her scars of survival, who is in shorts and has nothing to cover is talked about, judged, and not in a kind way is worthy of judgment by those who have no earthly idea of the miles she has walked, the pain she has endured and the courage it took to allow the world the view of her battle.
Sometimes we SHINE, we step out, we do it our way, in Healing Ways… IN PINK, we find our voices, our walk and those who talk the talk are the ones who have indeed walked the walk. You can see it in their eyes, feel it in their very words, their soul and the spirit. FIGHT, SUPPORT, CARE, GET INVOLVED.
Many who gather here are Warriors, they have known battle, many are still fighting and they know they are never alone.
Many who gather here have also know remarkable loss and have walked a trail of tears while finding the strength to live differently, while realizing that we are never alone and that hearts joined in love will continue to love from here into the next place.
In this brilliant month of October, we Stand United as we educate, as we raise awareness of Breast Cancer… My heart is wrapped around all who have fought, are fighting, those who died in the fight… Those who have just been diagnosed… we are standing with you…
- There are currently 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.
- During 2002-2006, 95% of new cases and 97% of breast cancer deaths occurred in women 40 years and older. The biggest single risk factor for breast cancer is age.
- White women have a higher incidence of breast cancer than African American women. However, African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.
- Currently, about 1 in 3,000 pregnant or lactating women will develop breast cancer. Research has shown that once a woman has been diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy, her chances of survival are less than a non-pregnant woman.
- It has been estimated that if every woman over the age of 50 had her yearly mammogram, breast cancer deaths in this age group would drop by 25% or more.
- Breast cancer in men is rare, accounting for approximately 1% of breast cancer rates in the U.S. Nearly 400 men die of breast cancer each year. African American men are more likely to die from breast cancer than white men.
- Risk factors for male breast cancer include age, BRCA gene mutations, Klinefelter’s syndrome, testicular disorders, a family history of female breast cancer, severe liver disease, radiation exposure, being treated with estrogen-related drugs, and obesity.
- One in 40 women of Ashkenazi (French, German, and East European) Jewish descent carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer) gene, which is significantly higher than in the general population where only 1 in 500 to 800 people carry the gene.
- The risk for breast cancer increases when a woman has been using HRT for more than five years. The largest risk is when both estrogen and progesterone are given together. Women who have had a hysterectomy and are taking pills containing estrogen alone are at less of a risk.
- One myth about breast cancer is that a person’s risk is increased only when there are affected relatives on the mother’s side of the family. However, the father’s side of the family is equally important in assessing breast cancer risk.
Women age 40 and older should have screening mammograms every 1 to 2 years
*Taken from Facts on Breast Cancer*
This month we are seeing everyone across the world working to raise awareness. Buildings are lit, banners are up. Even the major sports teams in football are donning pink; their shoes, gloves and banners of the NFL/AFL are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness.
Have faith, we are with you those who need to feel the love, need to know you are not alone.
Get your pink on, spread the word, and walk with those who are fighting the fight.
It’s BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Get yourself checked! No excuses.
Walk in beauty