October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and PLNU is proud to participate in the campaign that yearns to increase knowledge and awareness of the fatal sickness.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is said to be the second most common cancer in women and about one in eight women born today in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their life. The bright side is that many women can beat breast cancer if diagnosed and treated early.
Doctor Amy Litchfield of California Coastal Dermatology located in Mission Viejo said, “Breast cancer is when cells in the breast begin to grow uncontrollably. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump on or in the breast. The tumor can become cancerous if it grows and spreads into surrounding tissues or other parts of the body. Men can also be affected.”
Cancer is a sensitive subject for many, so when students on campus were asked if they have lost a family member or friend to the disease, the answer was shown on their faces before the words could leave their mouths. According to a recent survey done at PLNU, six in ten students answered “yes” to losing someone they love to breast cancer. PLNU sophomore psychology major Sierra Bates said that she dyed her hair pink for the month of October to “promote breast cancer awareness.”
According to the American Cancer Society website, “Every two minutes a woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer.” This includes everything from “stage zero” to the deadliest form known as invasive breast cancer.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is urging women, especially this month, to talk with a doctor about the risk of breast cancer.
The ODPHP suggests getting mammograms–the screen test for breast cancer–twice a year, especially women who have had a close relative suffer from breast or ovarian cancer. “I have never been checked for cancer. My family wants me to get a genetic test to see if I carry the cancer gene but I am too afraid of the truth,” said San Diego resident Elisabeth Luna, who lost her mother to stage four breast cancer in 2012.
Luna continued, “I was 16 when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I was in denial and complete shock when I heard. I thought this could never happen to my mom or my family. I encourage people to support breast cancer in any way possible and to speak out about their experiences; I raised $10,000 for women who are battling breast cancer and have decided to be open about my story to give others who have suffered comfort and advice”.
Pink is the color to wear to support breast cancer during this month. By wearing the color during October, it shows your support for hundreds of worldwide charities, specifically The Breast Cancer Campaign which is made up of scientists who facilitate ‘Pink Science.’ This ‘Pink Science’ is the research approach taken to look for methods of curing cancer.
The Breast Cancer Campaign amongst many organizations are working together to prevent breast cancer, discover how to detect it earlier and how to treat it effectively at every stage to put a stop to the loss of life caused by this terrifying disease.