By Mirna Youssef
Almost everyone in the world knows something about cancer, whether it is through a family member or friend affected by it, or through society advocating for a cure. Breast cancer is the third deadliest cancer in the world, and the second most common among women. Although women are the ones commonly diagnosed with breast cancer, men can get it, too. Men have breast tissue, just like women, and that makes the susceptible to developing breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness month takes place all throughout the month of October. The national awareness color for breast cancer is pink, which is often used in commericals and events. Although it may seem repeatitve to constantly hear about breast cancer on the news or social media, it demonstrates that this disease should never be taken lightly.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is the foundation that advocates for all cancers in every possible way. The foundation says, “Our research goal is simple— find answers that help save lives. Our strategy for funding research is just as straightforward—fund the best science.”
Fundraising and spreading awareness aretwo of the most commonly used tools out there, because getting people involved and educated in the matter could help save lives. “I feel that over the past few years advertising and awareness for breast cancer has risen quite a bit,” said Tommy Russo, a sophomore Psychology major. “As breast cancer begins to affect more and more people, and even celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, there have been more efforts to raise funds for research through walks and other events. Breast cancer is something that can affect anyone and it is good that society is being proactive about it,” Russo added.
The ACS is dedicated to finding a cure and building a community that allows cancer patients, survivors, families, and friends to come together to support each other. The foundation has spent more than four billion dollars since 1946, which has established the American Cancer Society as the largest private, nonprofit funder of cancer research in the United States.
Nearly 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer occurred amongst women worldwide in 2012, according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). “My mom had breast cancer when she was 35, and I was just one and a half years old,” said Margaret Pepe, a sophomore Public Relations major. “Obviously, I don’t remember what it was like for her when she had breast cancer. What I do remem ber is how, 18 years later, she still has to go to several doctor[s] appointments every few months to make sure she’s still cancer free; how the spot where she had her surgeries still hurts her from time to time; how she never let it break her. Cancer runs in my family, sadly, and it’s scary knowing that I have a higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m grateful every day that my mom is a survivor, and that her cancer hasn’t come back,” Pepe continued.
Surviving cancer does not mean the battle is over. Cancer changes lifestyles, mentalities, and overall outlooks on life. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) is the largest network for breast cancer awareness in the nation. There are so many ways to get involved, whether it is participating in walks, fundraising across the country or spreading knowledge to others. If you would like to donate or learn more you can visit www.cancer.org.