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Relay for Life is an organization that puts together a day where teams are formed to camp out and walk around a track or field in order to raise money for cancer research. There are three ideals Relay for Life is set for: Celebrate the lives of survivors who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.

 Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.

 Fight Back. Students participate in Relay because they have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.

The philosophy of The American Cancer Societies Relay For Life is that it represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

Relay for Life began in the mid- 1980’s by Dr. Gordy Klatt who was a colorectal surgeon. He wanted to raise awareness of his patients’ illness so he began this walk/run running 83 miles in 24 hours. In 1986, Pat Flynn, aka the Mother of Relay, helped to get 19 teams signed up for relay and raised $33,000.

Relay for Life helps support survivors who are battling cancer. Survivors, fighters and communities come together to help raise money, awareness and support for the people who need the most. In some way the fight for cancer can hit home for many people.

Some of the general signs of cancer are weight loss, fever, fatigue, pain and skin changes. For weight loss, when unintended, a weight loss of 10 or more pounds may be a sign of cancer. This happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, or lung. Fever is a sign, but usually occurs if the cancer has spread. When it comes to change in the color of your skin you may want to look out for the following: darker looking skin (hyperpigmentation), yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice), reddened skin (erythema), itching, and excessive hair growth.

Women want to be aware of breast cancer and be aware of how to check for lumps in their breasts. If one comes across any lumps in their breasts, they should see their doctor for an evaluation. Even though all lumps are not symptoms of cancer, it is better to be safe then sorry.

For men looking for testicular cancer, there are eight symptoms or signs of testicular cancer. They are as follows: A lump in or on a testicle, any enlargement of a testicle, shrinking of a testicle, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, a dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin, a collection of fluid in the scrotum, pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum, enlargement or tenderness of the breasts. Pay attention to these signs. Testicular cancer is a more common occurance in younger males, be aware.

Sat. April 18th, 2009 kicks off the start of the annual Relay for Life and continues until 9 am on Sun. April 19th, 2009 in the health and science building on south campus. If you are interested in any information about relay for life you can visit the following websites: www.cancer.com or www.relayforlife.com. If you are interested in starting a team, you can email wcucacteams@gmail.com.

Suzanne Brady is a fourth-year student majoring in Spanish Education. She can be reached at SB619873@wcupa.edu.

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