National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This special month dedicated to those who have been affected by breast cancer was first celebrated in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and the company now known as AstraZeneca. It was established to remind everyone that mammograms are the most effective weapons in the fight against this disease.

We are all affected by breast cancer, or will be at some point in our lives. Whether you have struggled with a family member or a friend who is dealing with the disease, have dealt with it yourself, or whether it is something you will deal with in your future, we all will be touched somehow or another. In the United States, this year, approximately 232,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 39,000 women will die from breast cancer. With the current detection methods and advancing treatments, the death rates have been decreasing since 2002. Such good news!

Recently, my 90 year-old grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery, and is currently more active than she has been in years. I recently had a childhood friend who passed away from breast cancer. I, myself, had a mammogram come back abnormal about 2 months ago. I had to have a biopsy, which came back clear, but it sure made me think. I did a lot of reading, a lot of soul-searching, and a lot of praying while I waited for results. It also made me a lot more dedicated to the fact that I will be tested every year, without fail!

This is a month to pay tribute to those who have lost the battle with breast cancer and to celebrate those who have and are waging the war against this powerful disease. Whether you want to give a gift, a card, a phone call, or a hug, that special woman (or man, as they can be diagnosed as well) will appreciate the thought and the gesture. And wear that pink this October!

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