October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, being truly aware of breast cancer is much more than wearing pink for a day, a week or a month.
Drinking Five-Hour Energy out of a pink bottle or accessorizing with tiny ribbons doesn’t stop breast cancer.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate based on age, social class, what you wear, or even what color the newspaper is that you’re reading.
The point of these things, however, is hope that the color association will, for at least one month out of the year, make people think about breast cancer.
For so many women — and more men than most assume — breast cancer is a daily awareness. They can’t go on about their lives when October is over as if nothing is different, because cancer changes everything.
It’s easy to brush off numbers as statistics and move on, but each of those numbers was a person. They were mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, co-workers and friends who received a diagnosis no person wants to hear and either battled treatments and physical pain to overcome the disease or tried their hardest and still succumbed to it.
For that loss of life to not be in vain, we have to be aware. We have to keep searching for a cure and we have to do what we can to keep this disease from taking more of our loved ones.
There is no proven scientific method to prevent breast cancer. As with several other ailments, a healthy diet and regular exercise are suggested as activities that can lower one’s risk of developing the disease.
While there may not be a cure or list of habits that will guarantee someone won’t develop the disease, science has proven time and again that early detection is key.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 or older should have a mammogram every year. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years as part of a regular health exam. In addition to those screenings, doctors also tout self-exams as life saving.
Basically, be aware of your own body.
-The Kentucky Standard, Bardstown, Ky.