It’s so spooky to think about how one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s also spooky to think about breast cancer being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the second leading cause of death among women. According to NationalBreastCancer.Org, it’s estimated that over 220,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Despite misconceptions, men can get breast cancer also, though it’s rare. According to the same site, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.
I have to admit that while I was trying to figure out what to write about today, breast cancer awareness had escaped me. Shame on me. Fortunately, my love of football helped out because the NFL is showing their support by having all kinds of pink all over and all teams are doing something to show their support at the start of games and/or during halftime. This reminded me that it continues to be so very important to look at this issue and others. It’s good to know that large organizations, such as the NFL, show their support. It’s important.
I think for me one of spookiest things about this particular illness is that from what I’m reading, there doesn’t appear to be any real rhyme or reason. I was reading that website, that I’ve linked, and it discusses the various risk factors. There are genetic and environmental risk factors such as family history or living an inactive lifestyle. Those are the known risk factors. It then goes onto talk about unknown risk factors and obviously, those aren’t well… known. The spooky part really comes in when it shows statistics that 60 – 70 percent of breast cancer patients are without known risk factors. The remaining 30 to 40 percent of patients have known risk factors. This tells me that more women are diagnosed with this deadly disease and there’s really no way to know why they have it. There’s nothing giving at least an indication how those women were unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with it.
It’s crazy to think that there isn’t a pattern or some way to have a way to predict it. Other types of cancer at least seem to have more patterns but not this one. However, the good news is that there’s a lot of information about it and lots of research happening. It’s also comforting to know that it can be caught early; that there is hope and certainly a way to beat this disease. There’s a lot of catch phrases and gimmicks for this now but in the end, it’s about saving lives, not breasts. It’s not about releasing the tatas or saving the boobies, it’s about lives; it’s about our moms, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends. Encourage women to get their exams because even though it may seem to target middle-aged women, it can strike earlier.
So on that note, I leave you with Melissa Etheridge’s “I Run for Life.” This was written after her own bout with breast cancer and coming out the victor.