October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), and this 31-day month is a short period for national recognition of such an important cause. Breast cancer is a disease that affects far too many of our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends, and in the month of October we have our chance to show our support for those suffering, recovering and celebrating their victory over this disease.
NBCAM is an organization consisting of several national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies working together to spread knowledge and information concerning breast cancer.
NBCAM is dedicated to increasing the awareness of breast cancer issues and especially the importance of early detection.
The very first NBCAM program occurred in October of 1985. This was a week-long event that had hopes of filling the shortage of information available to the public about breast cancer.
Volunteers came together, distributed brochures, spoke to news reporters and testified before a congressional committee about the crucial need for widespread access to mammograms.
Since its start more than 20 years ago, NBCAM has made many strides in areas of breast cancer awareness and treatment encouraging women to take charge of their own breast health.
There are many basic steps women can take to help detect breast cancer early. Some of these include regular self-breast examinations, the scheduling of an annual mammogram, adhering to prescribed treatment and simply knowing the facts about recurrence.
In collaboration with their medical association, NBCAM has teamed up with multiple support centers for those who are suffering with breast cancer and even those who have a personal connection to this disease.
These organizations provide medical information and support needed to get through the hardships when dealing with breast cancer.
Even though we are not all directly affected by breast cancer, there are many ways you can get involved with your community to help spread awareness and show your support for breast cancer sufferers and survivors.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the American Cancer Society’s premiere event to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research.
This noncompetitive walk gives people a chance to come together to spread their support and faith to those who are affected by this disease.
Last year, 450,000 walkers participated and raised more than $40 million, one donation at a time.
Another very popular breast cancer awareness event is the “3-Day.” This walk is a three-day walk covering a total of 60 miles.
Teams are formed of family members, co-workers, friends and neighbors that come together as one to encourage each other and those affected by breast cancer in this extensive display of support.
Each team must raise a minimum donation of $2,200 in order to participate in this walk. Though it seems like a lot, it really is not a difficult task to achieve.
The 3-Day took place in Philadelphia from Oct. 5 to Oct. 7. For more information of how one can join, donate or volunteer next year, visit www.the3day.org.
If becoming active in one of the many events is not for you, a simple pink ribbon will do the trick to show support of breast cancer.
Throughout October, millions of Americans will be sporting small pink ribbon pins, earrings, necklaces, rings and every other form of accessory.
By turning our support into a fashion statement, the Pink Ribbon Store has created a fashion line dedicated to the breast cancer cause.
As October continues, get your pink ready to show your support for this great cause.
Maggie Cosgrove is a second-year student majoring in elementary education. She can be reached at MC626229@wcupa.edu.