With the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the pink ribbons are being put away for another year and the fund-raising campaigns are winding down. So many 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. So what happens between now and next October when the campaigns begin all over again?
For some people, they are so glad that they do not have to see a pink ribbon wherever they turn and are so glad that the month is over. They are very cynical and believe that all of the money raised is just to line the pockets of the big breast cancer organizations in the name of a worthy cause. But, if you look around and talk to others, you will see a whole different picture.
Of course, the ultimate hope for the future is to find the key to the cause of 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.
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 help that is given in providing education and research is absolutely immeasurable. For more than one-third of those who are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer or whose breast cancer metastasizes, their 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 has on them. And then there are the families and friends who need assistance 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 cause of 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 just because a person has a double mastectomy that does not automatically guarantee that the breast cancer has not already travelled outside of the breast area. However, with the help of the funds that have been raised and the support provided to those with breast cancer, the future today just keeps on getting brighter.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.