Monday, September 26, 2005

Breast Cancer Awareness

The leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics is Heart Disease, accounting for 28.5 % of all deaths. The second one, at 22.8 % is Cancer. Keeping the probababilities simple, we have a 50% chance of dying of either heart disease or cancer.

As much as I would like to put my efforts behind the
American Heart Association, it is cancer the cause that got my attention the first day 'I saw it' in a scan of my mother's body. While the disease sucker-punched and took all of me at the time, it also drew my ire and disposition. I declared war on it immediately, way before her one single death. Cancer might have won that battle, but there are many more that I believe I can help to fight.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Among many themes, the one thing women need to be aware of is that early detection leads to successful treatments. Letting it go might prove lethal. Besides a women, you might be a mother, a sister, a wife, a grandmother. Cancer does not only lives physically in your body, but also mentally and emotionally, in you, as well as in those around you. There are many organizations that focus on cancer education, outreach program, patient support and most importantly fund raising programs that help in the research and development of new medicines and treatments.

In 1978, Nancy Goodman Brinker promised her dying sister Suzy that she would do everything possible to bring an end to breast cancer. In 1982 she founded the Susan G Komen Foundation, the nation's larger private funder of cancer research and outreach community programs. They organize the nationwide Race for the Cure. Komen also host the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk. The American Cancer Society and their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program put together the Relay For Life. And City of Hope, along with plenty of strong sponsors brings you the Walk for Hope.

And speaking of hope, I already said from the onset that fighting Malignant Neoplasms is my cause. While I choose to focus on those tumors that grow in the breast, I just do not like Cancer. Period! And since my mom's death I have had other reasons to feed my fire. So I would also like to make you aware of others organizations and events.

Let me start with the Lance Armstrong led, 10-days, San Diego to Washington DC, bicycle
Tour of Hope and 3-days Ride for the Roses. I am a supporter of his LIVESTRONG - Lance Armstrong Foundation which "believes that in the battle with cancer, unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fight blood cancers and they put together the amazing program called Team in Training. Among other foundations check Katie Couric's National Colorectal Research Alliance.

And while Colon, Breast,
Prostate, lymphoma and Leukemia, in that order, account for 33.1% of all cancer related deaths, let me finish by mentioning that Lung Cancer by far is the main culprit accounting for 30.9% . The recent death of Peter Jennings should bring well deserved attention to the cause. An example of that is MSNBC Keith Olberman 'editorial/testimonial' while reporting Mr Jennings' death on August 8th, and while you can read the article, I prefer you click on the Launch button provided and watch the video.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. BE AWARE!


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