Breast Cancer Awareness Month And How You Can Help

Posted by on Oct 22, 2018 in ComLead, Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations

Every year in October we see touches of pink across the globe. Our football teams, the Niagara Falls, the White House, and more all deck themselves out in shades of pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But what exactly does it mean to be aware?

Breast Cancer Awareness is more than just knowing that this is a disease that exists, so here are some important sources that you can check out for more information and ways that you can show support.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign intent on increasing awareness of the second most common form of cancer in American women. Last weekend, Buffalo hosted the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. This event brought in a sea of people, all donning pink apparel and ribbons, to walk in camaraderie alongside others impacted by breast cancer. Each year this walk brings the American Cancer Society thousands of donations and further supplies another generation with knowledge of this disease. If you have not heard of this organization, you can check them out here.

The American Cancer Society is a national voluntary health organization which aims to end cancer as the major health crisis that it is. Their mission is to: “save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.” All donations raised through the American Cancer Society are put towards funding research, providing information to the community, and to cancer prevention efforts.

Not only does this organization provide free information and a vast network of people willing to support you, but the American Cancer Society also provides free rides to medical visits and lodging accommodations to those who have to travel with loved ones for treatment in locations away from home. All of the money raised through the organization’s programs such as the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, goes straight into supporting those impacted by breast cancer with research and assistance.

Whether or not you or someone you know has been impacted by breast cancer, there is still plenty of reason to remain educated on the disease. Breast cancer occurs when the cells in the breast tissue grow out of control and in many cases form a tumor. If the cells are malignant, they are able to spread through the blood or lymph system and can make their way to other parts of the body.

Here are some quick tips and information on breast cancer, you can find more information here:

  • The most common symptoms and signs of breast cancer are an irregular lump on the breast or underarm, a change in shape of the breast, changes in the texture of the skin, denseness of the breast tissue, and irregular discharge
  • Many women with breast cancer do not have symptoms, therefore regular screenings are an essential tool for diagnosis
  • Along with screenings and mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI scans are examples of imaging tests that can be used to look for and diagnose the disease.
  • While screenings cannot prevent cancer, they can detect it at an earlier stage and therefore can save lives, so be proactive!
  • Roughly 5-10% of breast cancers can be traced to an inherited gene mutation (BRCA1 and BRCA 2), though the trait is rate
  • Breast cancer can occur in men, though it is roughly 70-100 times less common
  • If you have any concerns about your body or breast cancer, the best option is to speak with your doctor as soon as possible, as it is best to attack any concern sooner than later

A near and dear friend of the Communication and Leadership Studies Department recently spoke with the Buffalo News about her journey with breast cancer. Even if you have been lucky enough to never know anyone impacted by the disease, please take some time to show Dr. Wanzer some love and support, and read her article here. Having known her for six years now as a student, Dr. Wanzer inspired me tremendously in the way that she handled her experience with grace, dignity, and bravery. Through her journey I have learned so much about awareness and the benefits of having a positive mind and healthy methods of coping. She continued to teach throughout her treatments and has since become a fierce advocate for cancer awareness while also serving on the Western New York board of advisers for the Cancer Society.

If you would like to make a donation to the American Cancer Society, here is a link to Dr. Wanzer and Dr. Irwin’s team WomanStrong! So far their team is in 3rd place for donations with over $10,000 and donations are still open.
We are so proud of them for their dedication and support to this cause!

Resources: ACS – What Is Breast Cancer?
American Cancer Society
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Walking Through Breast Cancer With Strength and Gratitude – Dr. Wanzer’s Article

Devon Bradley, M.S. Communication & Leadership ’19

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