A disease as formidable as breast cancer deserves more than just a month of awareness, but the support for research and treatment and for those battling the disease takes center stage. As the leaves turn from green to red, yellow and brown, the rest of the country goes pink.
It would be hard not to find someone touched by breast cancer. Mothers and daughters, sisters and friends are united and strengthened through each other’s support and reminded to make regular self-examinations and annual mammograms.
Over four decades ago, my Great Aunt Marge Denison was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time a University of Michigan graduate student, teacher in Big Rapids school system and single mother to five young children, Marge’s options were not plentiful. Through swift treatment and the support of the Big Rapids community, family and friends have seen Marge to 46 years of remission.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of stories like Marge’s. Stories of strength and perseverance connected by an oath to continue the fight against breast cancer made by those directly and indirectly impacted by the disease.
October is a time to focus those energies; to stand together and remind those who are fighting and those who have fought that we wear those pink ribbons as a symbol of strength and unity.
The efforts made have had a drastic impact on the detection and survival rates. In many cases, a survival rate of 88 percent with early detection and treatment is expected, according to the American Cancer Society.
October is national breast cancer awareness month. The effort we make today will save lives tomorrow.
For more information about breast or other cancers, visit cancer.org.