Cancer in any form is nasty business. I could sit here all day and write about the horrors of the disease, but I honestly don’t need to. You already know the destruction it causes, to the victim as well as to the family and friends who support them. The statistics are staggering, no matter which variation of this illness you’re researching. For women, the words breast cancer alone can send chills up and down the spine. Those particular numbers blew my mind when I looked them up for this article: on in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime… ONE. IN. EIGHT..
Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among females. According to the CDC, 202,964 women in the US alone were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 (the most recent numbers available), and 40,598 women in the US died from the disease. That’s 40,598 more than ever should have been lost.
Strides are made every day when it comes to detection, treatment and cures. Just Friday, the FDA approved a new 3D Mammography device – the first of its kind. The machines will generate 3-D images of the breast, potentially helping doctors spot more cancerous tumors – and smaller ones. After all, the sooner a tumor is found the better the odds are in the race to the cure.
“Physicians can now access this unique and innovative 3-D technology that could significantly enhance diagnosis and treatment approaches,” said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s device division, in a statement.
I’ve written before about the Keep-a-Breast Campagin. This is just one of many fantastic organizations dedicated to helping fund research and to help patients. The reason I chose this particular one to support is those fun bracelets which are pictured above. What guy wouldn’t want to sport a tshirt or bracelet which say “I Love Boobies!” in public – and get away with it?
The foundation is dedicated to “helping eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support. Through art events, educational programs and fundraising efforts, they seek to increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.”
The purpose of Keep A Breast’s “I Love Boobies!” Campaign is to speak to young people in their own voice about a subject that is often scary and taboo. Sadly, there is a real need to do this: girls as young as TEN years old have been diagnosed with the disease. Although the incidence of breast cancer in young women is much lower than that of older women, young women’s breast cancers are generally more aggressive, diagnosed at a later stage, and result in lower survival rates. In fact, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women under the age of 40.
With tech advances such as the new 3D Mammography machine approved by the FDA and campaigns such as I Love Boobies!, we may finally one day be able to wipe out breast cancer for good.