Breast cancer awareness bigger than a month

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Every October, attention is called to Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the display or wearing of pink ribbons.

Pink ribbons remind us of how many families and businesses have been affected by breast cancer.

October reminds us of just how many women we know and love, those who are co-workers, neighbors, friends and family, who are battling the disease.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Breast cancer pays no heed to socio-economics, race or age.

Breast cancer can strike any woman, at any time.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month should not be viewed as a topic to be considered for a few weeks each year in the fall then ignored the remaining 11 months of each year.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year. Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries, the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to an increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.

Currently, there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer; therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed.

The majority of deaths (269 000) occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services.

As too many women and families know, as we have seen too often with stories about local women, breast cancer strikes women every day throughout the year.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about raising awareness, raising funds, sharing information and needs.

But it’s not just about October. The month is about reminding us that funds must be raised, precautions must be taken and the battle will continue being fought each and every day until there is a cure.