“We found a lump.” Sound familiar? To a woman, that phrase may be the most frightening news she will ever hear. Too many women in the United States have had the unfortunate experience of discovering that they have breast cancer. Breast cancer is a rapid growth of cells resulting in tumors in and around breast tissue. While most tumors are benign (non-cancerous), those that are cancerous (malignant) can spread to other areas of the body.
This year, roughly 213,000 women in the United States will have breast cancer. Over 40,000 of those women will die from the disease in 2006. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there are plenty of ways to donate money or support in efforts to combat this deadly disease.
The Breast Cancer three-day walk is one such way to donate time and/or money. The three-day takes place in cities around the nation. October 6 to 8 is Philadelphia’s Breast Cancer three-day walk. Teams of two or more are formed to walk over 20 miles a day for three days while raising money and awareness for breast cancer. The walkers dedicate time to fundraising, training and an entire weekend to walking for the cause. Eighty-five percent of the money raised this year will be given to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Sisters Nancy Goodman Brinker and Susan Goodman Komen started this fund in 1982. Susan had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was dying of the disease, so Nancy started the fund to honor her sister’s memory. 14 years later, the foundation has invested over $630 million in research, education, screening and treatment for breast cancer. Go to www.The3Day.org for more information about how to donate money or get involved in the 2007 walk.
Even chocolate is helping to raise awareness. Last year, Hershey’s introduced The Limited Edition “Pink collection,” which featured York Peppermint Patties in pink wrapping. This year, in addition to the York Peppermint Patties, Hershey has added their classic Kisses and Nuggets to the pink collection. Hershey’s will also make a $250,000 donation to the Young Survival Coalition (YSC). This organization is the only international, non-profit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the concerns and issues that are unique to young women and breast cancer. As college students, this is a great group, as they aim to help young women who suffer from the disease. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCA), breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women age 15-40, a scary demographic for West Chester University students. When informed of this statistic, senior Pam Denlinger said, ” I think that that’s a pretty wide age range. I knew that breast cancer affected 15 year olds, but I would have never guessed that it was the leading cause of death. That’s pretty scary, and kind of a wake up call.” For more information check out www.youngsurvival.org.
Also attempting to raise young people’s awareness is Q102’s Booker in the Morning Show. “Bras Across the Boulevard” is an initiative that morning host Chris Booker is behind. The morning show is collecting new and used bras that they will attempt to string across Roosevelt Boulevard. The live broadcast will happen Friday, October 13, 6a.m.-10a.m. at Chickie’s and Pete’s in Northeast Philly. You can donate your bras at the Q102 Q-Unit at various Shop Rite supermarket locations or by sending the bras to the radio station. Go to Q102philly.com for more details on how you can participate. Q102 is also partnering with the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation, a group dedicated to providing routine mammograms and diagnostic tests for women with little or no medical insurance. For more information on how to help this group go to www.lindacreed.org.
Right now there is no cure for breast cancer. But with so many organized groups hosting events this October, there are plenty of opportunities for people to raise money and awareness.