Early Detection Is The Answer
You may have noticed a lot of pink around campus lately. West Virginia University has changed its website from Gold and Blue to pink. The football team will soon be sporting pink ribbons on their helmets.
The pink ribbon is used to signify National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an important, month-long reminder to raise awareness of the second-most common cancer among women in the U.S. and around the world.
The National Cancer Institute estimates 207,090 women will be diagnosed with the disease in 2010, claiming the lives of 39,840. I do not have these figures world wide. In any event such numbers are troubling, and are a disturbing reminder of this terrible condition.
To help raise awareness, the WVU community is playing its part. Already, free examinations have been given at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. The Cancer Center will hold a fashion show Oct. 25 with local designers and stores at Lakeview Resort.
Athletic teams will also contribute to the cause. The volleyball team will host a "Dig Pink" game against Georgetown, with the crowd encouraged to wear pink.
The Christ the Redeemer statue is lit up in pink at night for Breast Cancer awareness in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the list of supporters goes on.
Breast cancer is a tumor that grows in one or both of the breasts, according to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website. The cancer typically develops in ducts, lobules or milk-producing areas of the breast.
The American Cancer Society recommends women 40 and older should have a mammogram every year, continuing to do so "as long as they are in good health."
Women in their 20s and 30s should have a breast exam administered by a health expert every three years.
Women in their early 20s, and throughout their lifetimes, should perform self-examinations.
Trouble signs include: lumps or swelling, skin irritations or dimpling, nipple pain or nipple turning inward, unusual redness or scaliness of nipple or breast skin or a discharge other than breast milk.
Medical experts agree early detection can save thousands of lives a year. By combining regular screening and self-examination, the number of those falling victim to the disease should drop.
"The majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer live a long life," Dr. Jame Abraham, chief of hematology and oncology at the WVU School of Medicine and medical director of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, told WVU Today. "Early detection and effective treatment offers great help and will enhance their chances for survival."
Awareness is the key to eliminating breast cancer once and for all. Simple techniques at home, coupled with money raised, can help rid the world of a senseless killer.