As another Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to an end, the pink ribbons are being put away for another year and the fund-raising campaigns are winding down. So many people have contributed in so many ways to raise awareness and to provide funding for future research, education and assistance to those who are now dealing with or will face breast cancer in the future. But, the question now becomes about what will happen between now and next October!
We need to educate others to understand that regardless of the treatment that a person receives for breast cancer, there is no guarantee that it will not recur again in perhaps an even more advanced form in the future.Barbara Jacoby
Some people are so glad that they do not have to see a pink ribbon wherever they turn and are very happy that the month is over. Some of them are very cynical and choose to believe that all of the money raised is used to line the pockets of the big cancer organizations in the name of a worthy cause. But, if you look around and talk to others who have chosen to dedicate their life’s work to finding answers on all levels or providing support to cancer patients, you will see a whole different picture.
There are so many programs that help members of our communities every day. There is funding to provide mammograms to those who can’t afford them. There is money contributed to provided medications and treatments to those that need the help. There are programs to help those who need assistance with bills and groceries and rent and transportation for doctor appointments and this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how the funds are used to help breast cancer survivors everywhere.
But the funds that are given to provide education and research are absolutely immeasurable. For more than one-third of those who are initially diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer or whose breast cancer metastasizes, the hope is in what will be done to find the answers to cure their breast cancer. These women also need funding to help them with not only the medical treatment that they need but also to deal with the psychological impact that this disease inflicts upon them. And then there are the families and friends who need help in dealing with all of the needs of the patients and in knowing what to do and how to do it.
Of course, the ultimate hope for the future is to find the key to the causes of breast cancer in order to stop it before it gets started. We all hope for the day when we may be able to be immunized against this disease. However, until that day comes, we need to focus on finding the answers to stopping the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body where it then becomes life threatening. We need to educate others to understand that regardless of the treatment that a person receives for breast cancer, there is no guarantee that it will not recur again in perhaps an even more advanced form in the future. However, with the help of the funds that have been raised and the support provided to those with breast cancer, hope for a future in which breast cancer is no longer a threat will continue to be the driving force for all of us.