October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Students volunteered at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure with Vice-principal Kinga Sanders Photo courtesy of Janelle Medrano

Janelle Medrano, Reporter

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), an annual campaign that aims to increase knowledge and awareness of the disease.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. The cancer organization also estimates that 231,840 new cases will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. this year.

Although men can also be affected by the disease, such cases are less common. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about one in a thousand, but it’s estimated that 2,350 new cases will be diagnosed this year in women.

Young women especially need to be aware of the risk factors of this cancer by taking steps to detect the disease early.

Genetic factors, such as women with close blood relatives who have been diagnosed with ovarian or breast cancer, have a history of early menstruation and late menopause, have dense breast tissue and are older than the age of 55 often have a higher risk of breast cancer. Other factors that increase the risk of the disease include a lack of physical activity, poor diet, alcohol consumption, exposure to radiation or taking combined hormone replacement therapy after menopause.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation says that women can lower their risk of breast cancer by eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and by getting breast cancer screening tests.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, there are more than six million breast cancer survivors worldwide, giving many survivors a reason to celebrate this month.

To help raise awareness in the community, supporters often wear the color pink, donate and fundraise for foundations of breast cancer research or volunteer at awareness events.