He sits there on the edge of the bed silently looking at her. He turns away slowly for a moment, not wanting the woman who means so much to him see the tears gathering at the edge of his eyes. He sweeps his hand over hers and grasps it tightly in an effort to reassure her that the love they share can beat the anxious feeling growing inside both of their hearts. They hear a creak as the door opens and the doctor steps inside the sterile room with a subtle smile; a smile of hope and comfort. “It’s time,” she announces. The couple gazes at each other, each one hesitating to respond. The woman in the blue gown rises; she can feel her heart pounding through her chest as she walks the steps into the room she’s been to dozens of times before. Around the chemotherapy room were cards and flower bouquets with the words “Get Better Soon” dated back a year ago. Now this was her final treatment. It took so long, but she had come so far. She was a survivor.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer is not a simple subject, not one that a person can just ignore. It is not easy to talk about and open up to the fact that, like the couple in the story above, many people know or have met someone with the disease.
Over 220,000 women and men will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer this year. It is a shocking statistic, but increased awareness about the illness can bring people together and become stronger throughout the hardships of living with and around the deadly killing machine.
44,000 citizens in the United States alone pass away every year from Breast Cancer. The sickness does not have mercy on the elderly or young adults and can affect anyone from ages 19 to 100.
Generally the cells in a typical human body begin healthy, but the carcinogens from UV lights, pollution and other toxins are swiftly absorbed into the body. Once they leak through the skin, they cause breast cells to metastasize and clump together. These clumps create tumors in the fatty tissues and lymph nodes around the chest region. These tumors are called Breast Cancer.
The illness can run in the family through generations and there is little choice in stopping it. Usually woman and men who can detect the symptoms of Breast Cancer early have a better chance of surviving over those that don’t. Fortunately, treatments are readily available and have worked in the past to stop these cancer cells from spreading and infecting other tissues. Awareness websites and organizations are open to the general public and have even saved lives, presenting information and prevention tips.
The month of October is the time where some of the pro and college sports teams wear pink jerseys, bumper stickers with the Breast Cancer Awareness Symbol are advertised on the backs of cars, and the news will cover personal cancer stories. Organizations throughout the country receive donations, promote fundraisers, administer charity walks, and oversee fun events all in the benefit of finding a cure.
The United States has many organizations such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Susan G Komen’s Walk for the Cure, and the American Cancer Society to spread the word about the disease and create healthy support groups for families going through the physical and mental effects of the Cancer.
Despite the trials and tribulations of this disease, many victims maintain an upbeat attitude because they know researchers are coming close to finding a cure. If everyone in the community donated a dollar, it would help buy new equipment for labs, assist in the discovery of new research and fund programs to help those in need of the necessary treatment. Money is not the only thing of value. Walking for awareness, and talking with people who have the disease can help patients in the process to have newfound hope for their future. If a community can come together to work for a greater good, there is no stopping it from achieving its goals.