When the Color Pink Means So Much More
October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 14:10
October is formally known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a time for acknowledging, a time for remembering, and even a time for celebrating.
During the entire month, people will wear pink as a symbol of moral support for those with breast cancer. The color pink identifies people with the breast cancer brand.
According to the Pink Ribbon website, the first known use of a pink ribbon being affiliated with breast cancer awareness is when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons at its New York City marathon for breast cancer survivors in 1991.
This brand image has since then been adopted by thousands of organizations throughout the world. For example, the NFL has its players wear pink apparel to show their support for the fight against breast cancer in all of its games in October.
Breast cancer is a group of abnormal cells that invade healthy cells of the breast, which then form a malignant tumor. From here, the cancer can spread or metastasize to other areas of the body.
As stated on the National Breast Cancer Foundation website, there are four stages of breast cancer. Determining the stage of the breast cancer is important because this allows healthcare professionals to determine how far the disease has progressed and what the best way is to contain and eliminate it.
The stage is based on the size of the tumor, the number of lymph nodes that are affected, and if there are signs that the cancer has invaded other organs.
Stage 0/1 is the earliest stage, and represents that the cancer cells are confined to a very small area.
Stage 2 shows evidence of the cancer beginning to grow or spread.
Stage 3 is considered advanced cancer with evidence of the cancer invading the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes.
Stage 4 is the most severe stage, and signifies the cancer spreading beyond the breast to other areas of the body such as the brain, bones, lungs and liver.
To avoid reaching these later stages, early detection is important. When breast cancer is detected early at a localized stage, the survival rate is 98 percent, according to the NBCF.
Breast cancer organizations and health professionals advise women to perform breast self-exams once a month to detect early signs of breast cancer. Pay close attention to the discovery of a new lump or a change in your breast tissue and/or skin.
It is also very important to have clinical breast exams, such as a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI or biopsy, done by your local physician once a year.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. To put this into perspective, this means approximately 834 of our fellow female Bison will one day, develop breast cancer.
As the number of new cases continues to increase from year to year, humanity’s faith in finding a way to put an end to breast cancer is as strong as ever before.
Almost everyone knows at least one person who has been diagnosed, and for some, this is all they have to keep their composure.
Alyssa Nord, a freshman majoring in human development & family science and elementary education, talks about her mom Jessica, being diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago.
“My mom was diagnosed on Oct.1, 2009, with Stage 3 breast cancer,” Nord said. “She had it for about two years before [the doctors] found it. I can’t imagine my life without her, so I couldn’t be happier that she is still cancer-free today.”
This is just one example of a success story in the fight against breast cancer. Unfortunately, for some people, they are not as lucky—men included.
It is a common misconception that men cannot develop breast cancer and that it only affects women.
According to the NBCF, approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle and help reduce your risk factors for breast cancer, it is encouraged to have a balanced diet, sustain a healthy weight and be active.
Nord explained how even removing toxins from their home helps her mom live a healthier lifestyle.
“We don’t really know what caused [my mom’s] cancer, so now we eat mostly organic foods and look at the ingredients on all body products to make sure that she’s not consuming any harmful chemicals,” Nord said.
Taking these precautions seriously is important in the fight against this pandemic, but sharing this knowledge with loved ones is just as significant.
It is unknown who will be diagnosed next, and knowing the facts may make the world of difference. So please, spread the word and do not forget to show your pink pride.