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Fighting Breast Cancer

By Tig2 ·
We have just celebrated Mother?s Day. Where I live that is also the day that we run and walk the ?Race for a Cure? to benefit the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Another event upcoming- again in my area anyway, is the Breast Cancer 3 Day, a 60 mile walk with the intent of raising awareness of breast cancer and, of course, raising funds. It is sponsored by the National Philanthropic Trust and benefits the Komen as well as the NPT?s ongoing breast cancer research.

Today I walked the Komen. In August, I will walk the Breast Cancer 3-Day. As a survivor. Scary- at least to me.

What has me on my personal soapbox is two-fold. First that these organisations have been so bombarded by people wanting to participate but not wanting to take on the more distasteful task of fund-raising that the organisations have been forced to take the step of setting registration requirements- $25 for the Komen, $90 for the 3 Day in order to insure that they do not experience losses. In the case of the 3 Day, there is also a fund-raising minimum requirement, fully disclosed up-front.

What irritates me is that folks are choosing to participate in the ?cool event? rather than embracing the goals that the sponsors are promoting. And that has resulted in losses and break evens for both event organisers.

When I made the decision to participate in the 3 Day, it was with the knowledge that I would be required to do two things- raise a minimum of $2200 and increase my endurance to insure that I was physically capable of walking 20 miles a day for three consecutive days. Truthfully, my last tan was acquired from too many hours in front of a monitor. I can now manage a 10+ mile walk without killing myself. And I have 14 weeks of training left to go. The litmus test will be when I get to the 18 mile/15 mile back to back walks.

Raising $2200 was never my goal. Raising $5000 IS- based on an average for a single chemotherapy treatment for an uninsured/underinsured individual. I am halfway there.

The focus of events like these is to raise AWARENESS and funds to benefit those organisations that are committed to finding a cure to a VERY curable disease. I am daily amazed by the number of women who tell me that they have NEVER done a self exam. Or that thought that since there is no family history, they aren?t at risk. Or tell me that they would rather slit their wrists than live with the loss of a breast. Or the men who tell me that they don?t have to worry about it- men don?t get breast cancer.

Holy Moley people! Is this really indicative of the thoughts people have about breast cancer??? More than 200,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year and more than 40,000 American women and MEN will lose their lives to the disease. Yes, American. We KNOW that Asian communities are hit harder. It just hasn?t been fully quantified. One person is diagnosed with breast cancer every 3 minutes. Every 13 minutes, the disease claims another life in the United States. If you are interested in learning more about the disease, go to

The statistics are overwhelming. Even more so when you consider that there is the face of a man or woman behind every single number.

I have been hearing about the importance of self exam and diligence in this regard for over 20 years. I find it hard to believe that we are still so uninformed.

I don?t care if you are male or female, belong to a risk category, would really rather not consider it. Take a moment, find out how the disease can impact you, find out how to mitigate your risk. Choose to communicate that STOPPING the STOPPABLE is important to you.

The reason this ended up in discussion instead of being a blog is that I am interested in hearing your opinions. Why is it that the only support traction that these organizations can get is being the ?cool event?? What preconceived notions hang out in the back of your brain about breast cancer? What can you choose to do that will help to increase someone else?s awareness? ARE you willing to increase someone else?s awareness???

I can tell you one of the reactions I have gotten that I was totally unprepared for. In conversations with people I have known or worked with for several years, I discovered that my peer was having the conversation with my bust line. A couple of people were honest enough to ask which one isn?t real. Curiosity kinda misplaced if you ask me?

If you have feedback that you feel you don?t want public, please feel free to PM me. If there is additional information that you would like, also PM me- I have all sorts of fact links.

Please- take a moment for awareness. This disease does not have to claim more lives.

I believe that a committed group of men and women can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that has.
Margaret Mead

Anyone interested in supporting either of these organisations, please PM me for details. I don?t think that it is appropriate to use this site for fund raising efforts so have chosen to not provide direct links.

Editied for sanity and to prove to myself that I am not barking. Thank you for your patience :)

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One of my two charities

by jdclyde In reply to Good for you, Tig2

has been the cancer society and local kids programs like "coats for kids" and "toys for tots".

I feel bad for kids that are not to blame for the mess that their parents made of their lives.

Cancer has been close for a long time now too. Lost my dad in 84 (two weeks before my senior year started, and I was "out of control" for quite a while after that). I then lost Grams to this in 99.

Sure, I get people from every other charity on the face of the earth pounding on my door for help or money, and they all seem to think that their choicen charity is the single most important thing in the world. When I get the request for the humain society or save the whales, it is hard to understand where peoples sence of reality is. "Sure I like whales. They taste like Chicken!" (that always get me hung up on!)

You can't save everyone from everything.

THIS on the other hand, IS important and worth suporting.

Attagirl Tig!

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Thanks GG

by Tig2 In reply to Good for you, Tig2

While Breast Cancer is my particular cause, I think that the issues that pertain to it also pertain to cervical cancer and prostate cancer. Somehow these curable cancers don't get the attention that they richly deserve.

I hear women tell me that it is because lumpectomy/mastectomy threatens their sexuality and therefore they would rather not know.

I SO get the "leave your dignity on the doorstep" thing. My surgeon is a leader in breast disease at a teaching hospital. When I saw him for the first time he had several students with him who were invited to observe the exam process. As I had other issues as well, I became a "learning experience". It got to the point that I told him that if he invited anyone else, I wanted a tip jar. (All donations to research, of course! :) )

It is unfortunate that so many types of cancer are only discovered too late for treatment to be effective. But these cancers, while not preventable entirely, CAN be caught and dealt with if the individual is willing to do the ground-work.

At 5'9, I can generally go nose to nose with most. With this, I got the "searching stare" from women too. Very odd feeling!

I just got word of another donation. As of right now, I am at $2376 with $2624 to go to reach my personal goal. $5000 isn't much, but it is a start.

Monday is my day off from training but this week I have 26 training miles to walk. I sure hope the rain is over for awhile...

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It is 5/17. The total...

by Tig2 In reply to Fighting Breast Cancer

today is $2426.00. $74 US from half way to goal.

Two donations in today. One of them from my partner's son. Great kid. Geek like the rest of us.

This humbles me daily.

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Thank you

by AV . In reply to Fighting Breast Cancer

For all of your efforts to raise money to find a cure. It is really admirable.

I think people need a "cool event" because they don't want to look at the hard reality of breast cancer. Not everyone can handle it. Without the "cool event" most people will just look away. Sad but true.

I read everything I can about breast cancer. My sister had it. That makes me a high risk. My sister-in-law died from it. Its just incredible to me how many women I know that have had it.

I work with one women who had it in one breast and decided to have both removed and reconstructed. I think this is probably extreme, but I understand the mindset. She is back to work though and feeling well. I've really never discussed with her what she thought of the reconstruction. I think when she's ready to talk about it, she will.

Maybe TR can have a place set up for donations to support your 3 day walk in August. There are alot of people on TR whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, men and women, and I think they would like to support your effort.


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I probably should have done this before

by Tig2 In reply to Thank you

The National Philanthropic Trust has a website set up for The 3 Day. You can find it at You can find my page at

The 3 Day website can link you to all sorts of information as well as explain this project. I also recommend the Susan G. Komen website. You will find it at

If you want good information, there are some great places to go. Unfortunately, Job 1 is raising awareness- you can't treat what you don't know you have.

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Breast Self Examination, for men also

by Jaqui In reply to I probably should have do ...

20-25% of male cancer victims have breast cancer, so the guys should learn how to do a bse and do one as regularly as the girls.

women are 10 times as likely to get cancer.
smoking adds another 10 times as likely.
HRT, for post menopausal women, men with certain medical conditions, and MtF transsexuals increases the risk by another 5 times.
[ yes, it's literally the estrogen that creates the suseptibility ]

I was lucky, my gp found three tumours during a regular physical, took him 6 weeks to locate them again, three in office treatments and the tumors were gone, no recurrence..yet.

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Thanks for that Jaqui

by Tig2 In reply to Breast Self Examination, ...

For some odd reason, even though we KNOW that the disease will touch men, men don't think of themselves as a risk group.

Continue to make this point- men die of this too. Mostly due to not taking it seriously. Like women, men need to be aware of the risk and act accordingly.

I will pray for your continued health. Surviving the "yet" is often the hardest part. At least it is for me.

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by Jaqui In reply to Thanks for that Jaqui

I happen to be almost guaranteed to get it again, I am in the hiest risk grouping possible.

cancer, runs in the family, I smoke, and I am on HTR.

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Jacqui. I don't want to disagree with you

by neilb@uk In reply to Breast Self Examination, ...

but I'd like to know where you got your figure of 25%.

I used to work - I was there for 12 years - in the Oncology department of a major London hospital and I've never heard it quoted anywhere near that.

While I was there I understood the following: prostate cancer accounts for nearly 25 percent of all male cancer, followed by lung cancer and colorectal cancer with bladder cancer coming in fourth place at 5%. Other GI cancers account for three of the next five places (shared with lymphoma and leukaemia). the list above accounts for nearly 80% of all male cancers.

I've checked and it's not changed much since then.

Breast cancer in women in the UK stands at 42,000 cases per year with males amounting to only 300 diagnosed cases. That's not 10x greater, that's 140x greater risk.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't carry out a breast examination if there is a family history but most men would be better served checking for testicular lumps, especially in their twenties and thirties when the risk of malignant teratoma is greatest.

Oh, and don't smoke of course. That is DUMB!

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