Save the person
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) defines it as “a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The damaged cells can invade surrounding tissue, but with early detection and treatment, most people continue a normal life.” While breast cancer is naturally less prevalent in men, still about one percent of the breast cancer diagnoses will be male.
Statistics from cancer.org say that about 231,840 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and about 40,290 women will die from it this year. With such a high mortality rate, it’s something that deserves attention from everyone.
And the media certainly has given a lot of attention to breast cancer — with its main focus on the tragedy of boobs being tarnished and with little to no compassion for the person carrying the weight of having cancer.
Every year in October, people left and right are donning pink clothes and hashtagging #savethetatas in the name of activism, but majority of these people actually do anything to help with breast cancer other than make an annual accessory out of it.
But just because that’s the way it’s typically always been doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year — these aren’t women on a mystical island far, far away — they’re the 1 in 8 women that you know, unfortunately. It could be a neighbor, relative or friend. They’re more than just their body parts, and they deserve to feel like they are.
If you know someone with breast cancer, there are plenty of ways for you to help.
Even just spreading awareness can help them; the NBCF is extremely useful in describing the different types of breast cancer and treatment for women and men. It does a lot to debunk myths surrounding breast cancer, like the fact that having a lump on your breast doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer — breasts come in all shapes and sizes. It only really indicates being cancerous if it grows or changes.
They’re more than just their body parts, and they deserve to feel like they are.
According to the site, antiperspirants, deodorants and mammograms do not cause breast cancer. Something that may come as a relief to young women is knowing that having a history of breast cancer in your family does not drastically increase your chances of acquiring it unless it was a direct relative, such as a mother, sister, daughter, etc. Most women (about 90 percent) who develop the illness do not have a family history of it.
While most advertisements companies show in the month of October tend to don pink and flash quirky lines like “save the tata’s,” NBCF is actually focused on saving the person. It provides a link where you can build your own early detection plan, and it has several options as far as how anyone can help.
It costs $100 in donations to help a woman in need get a mammogram, and there’s a link where anyone can donate whatever sum of money you choose — you can even schedule to donate monthly, or by mail if online money transactions aren’t your thing. Alternatively, not everyone has enough disposable income to comfortably donate to any cause; this website also provides links where you can start a fundraiser in your area through the NBCF or even volunteer for any events being sponsored by NBCF.
Breast cancer is a tragedy, but there are plenty of ways for everyone to help the many women who have to suffer through it. And while the enthusiasm for helping is always good, it’s important to be sensitive to these people, because many women only have the option of a mastectomy or a double mastectomy to eliminate the tumors, and there’s nothing wrong with that because the movement isn’t to save the breasts as faceless campaigns featuring shapely bodies may try to convince you.
Instead, it’s about saving the person behind the breasts, and helping them to overcome cancer and continue living their lives as normally and healthily as possible.