By: Tomi Simmons
October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These thirty-one days are a time to continue to raise awareness, funds, and compassion for those who have been affected by this disease. Throughout the month there are national events, conferences, and memorials to unify people towards the cause. There is also education on how to be aware of your body and to understand when to see a doctor in order to prevent the cancer from spreading. Though there are numerous tools offered to catch the diagnosis early, there is still no cure to breast cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, “40,610 women will pass away from breast cancer,” Many people have lost their loved ones to this disease, and so McPherson College has made this month a time to remember them. Around the dorms and on the bulletin boards there are facts about breast cancer with a sign where you can put up a loved one’s name as a memorial. In addition to remembering, there are celebrations for survivors of breast cancer. All month many people who have survived hold charity events for the cause. In Wichita, there will be an American Cancer Society “Making Strides” walk on October 20, where donations are accepted for the foundation. There will be a remembrance of people who have passed away from breast cancer, and a celebration for the survivors or those who are in remission. It is a way to get the community involved while simultaneously making a change for people.
Education about this disease is important because the warning signs are quite subtle. Susan G Komen has released a list of warning signs onto their website, a couple of the items listed are, “lumps in the breast, redness or discomfort in your chest area, and rashes.” Go to susangkomen.org for more information on what to look for.
In light of the month, Serena Williams was featured in the “I Touch Myself” campaign advertisement. The campaign honors the late diva singer Chrissy Amphlett who passed away from breast cancer. Serena Williams sang a song in the video that normally connotes a sexual massage, and made it into a moment to make sure women always check their bodies.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time not just to wear pink, but to celebrate the advances in cancer research, to remember the people who have lost their lives, and the ones that are still fighting for their lives today.