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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 www.komen.org.

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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Jury is still out

by Tig2 In reply to Edited out

This testing protocol has not yet passed the FDA. The stopper is the "benign or malignant" thing.

When a lump is diagnosed, it is examined. This is still the right answer. The test- having not been proved, claims to identify if a lump is a killer.

There is still the issue of Inflammatory Breast Cancer- rarely shows up in mammography yet can kill faster than any other type- because it is not diagnosed.

It is the only type of cancer that they do chemo first- then mastectomy. This is to minimises the risk of spread- the cancer shows up looking like an inflammation and changing the apperaance of the breast.

If this test is proven, it will go a long way towards helping both men and women for whome mammography is not an option. Ultrasound, while effective, is not as good a choice.

If Britian is able to prove through clinical trial that this is effective, we will hopefully see the incredibly slow wheels of the FDA move to adopt it for use in the US.

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Edited out

by OnTheRopes In reply to Fighting Breast Cancer
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Interesting

by Tig2 In reply to Edited out

I know that the thinking has been to look at ways to use the cells own defenses against it. I had no idea that it had gotten quite so far.

It all tends to come down to the same things in the end. Know your body and know what is "normal" for you. Pursue solutions- be your own advocate.

I don't honestly know if we will find a cure in my lifetime. I only believe that we have to keep trying.

If you run into anything else, let me know. It is always worth staying current.

Thanks for posting the links. This week has been strange and I am just getting back to a more "normal" state myself.

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