Our view: Become involved in breast cancer fight

3:09 PM, Oct. 3, 2013  |  Comments
  • Filed Under

You will read stories in today's Herald Times Reporter about women who are fighting - and winning - the battle against breast cancer.

October is annually designated National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to remind us that breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12 percent) of women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

According to the American Cancer Society, in the US this year:

? About 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.

? About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).

? About 39,620 women will die from breast cancer.

All of those numbers indicate there is a very good chance that each of us knows someone - directly or indirectly - affected by this insidious disease. Most women who have attained a certain age either have had breast cancer, currently have it or are fearful of developing it. That, in turn, impacts their children, husbands, other family members and friends.

The color pink has come to be associated with breast cancer awareness and fund-raising efforts, as individuals and groups throughout the country get into the color and behind the cause. Even grizzled professional athletes join in by wearing pink shoes or other apparel items.

All of that is good, but there are many other ways to become involved if you don't feel comfortable "going pink." They include getting a flu shot (the flu can be deadly to cancer patients with weakened immune systems), donating directly to breast cancer awareness funds, giving blood, registering to be a bone-marrow donor (thousands of cancer patients rely on these donations) or simply lending someone a hand (people with cancer tend to want to hide the fact and may be reluctant to ask for help).

These are year-round measures that are not difficult.

Whatever the method, don't be afraid to join the hundreds of thousands of people nationwide who are raising awareness - and funds - in the fight against breast cancer.

One of the best ways to bring down the breast cancer death rate is for women to take preventive measures, including self-exams and mammograms. Self-exams are recommended each month. Ask a cancer health professional for the correct way to conduct such exams.

The debate continues to rage about the efficacy of annual mammograms, but we have seen nothing to refute the health community's general diagnosis that regular mammograms for women over 40 are a useful tool in care and prevention of breast cancer. The jury is still out as to whether regular means annual in this situation. Again, consult a trusted health professional for a regimen that works best.

The worst thing to do is ignore the potential for breast cancer. The numbers are very real, as are the consequences of ignoring them. Take it seriously, become educated and, if you can, become involved in the fight. You - or someone you love - will be better off for having made the effort.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1278 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports


Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports