By Kirsten Bilger
When you hear October, what do you think of? Halloween, candy, costumes? With Halloween comes the decorations: cobwebs, zombies, and carved pumpkins. Yet, there is another decoration that needs more attention: the pink ribbon. October is not only the month of Halloween, it is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
October was chosen for awareness month in 1983 when the first “Race for the Cure” was held. With each year, more and more people participate in some form of walk to raise awareness for breast cancer. People walk for miles sporting pink attire and some wear shirts with faces of loved ones who have died as a result of this disease.
In 1985, AstraZeneca established the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) . This company makes two drugs to fight breast cancer. During the month of October, the NBCAM raises awareness of the disease and money to continue their work in finding a cure for breast cancer.
Their goal is to bring awareness to both males and females about the disease. They encourage women to get mammograms, which detect any lumps on the breast that may be cancerous. As for men, NBCAM encourages them to go to the doctor immediately if there is any problems in the breast area.
Although there is a higher rate for women to develop breast cancer, men have the possibility of getting it as well. However, it is rare for males to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Their risk is about 1 in 1,000, while the female risk is at about 1 in 8. That is why NBCAM encourages females to get mammograms so doctors can detect any formation of breast cancer and begin treatments early to cure it.
For those who have lost loved ones due to the disease, it can be a difficult time. Watching a loved one go through treatments, endure chemotherapy, and illness can be tough. Patients are fighting the disease for the chance to continue on and live. They are brave and become stronger after what they have gone through.
For some, however, the disease becomes too strong for them to fight or it spreads to different organs and parts of the body. It is heartbreaking to watch a relative, a friend, or a stranger battle breast cancer and lose their fight against it. That is why NBCAM raises awareness and money about breast cancer: to find cures for those who have this disease.
Two ways to help in the quest for a cure are to donate money to NBCAM, or purchase a Panera bagel in the shape of a ribbon in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Proceeds from ribbon bagel sales will be donated to help find a cure.