It’s officially the tenth month of the year. October celebrates a few different things, one being breast cancer awareness month.
Some may ask why breast cancer is celebrated for a whole month?
For starters, from the research of cdc.gov, doctors diagnose around 240,000 cases of breast cancer in women in the United States each year alone. This means 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in the United States at least once in their life. Let’s not forget about around 2,100 male cases diagnosed in the United States yearly.
The sad reality in the United States, as said above, is that around 42,000 of these women and 500 men will lose their lives to breast cancer each year. The majority of these deaths go undiagnosed, allowing the cancer to develop and further progress and making it difficult to treat.
One breast cancer survivor is a sophomore’s mom here at Leesville, she wishes to remain anonymous.
She was diagnosed on February 1, 2013, with stage 1 breast cancer. The Leesville mom said, “When I was first diagnosed, it was really scary and upsetting. It was my second mammogram and then they had to do all the tests to see if it had spread to my brain or bones. I was jumping to worst-case scenarios, but luckily it hadn’t spread.”
She underwent surgery and then received multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Like many other breast cancer cases, the chemotherapy she underwent caused hair loss. Other medicines were administered to her for a year after. She recently celebrated her ten-year “cancerversary” on February 1, 2023.
What is Leesville doing to help honor these survivors?
Our sports teams wear pink in support of breast cancer. The cheerleaders wear pink bows on game day for the whole month of October. The football team adds pink ribbon decals to their helmets to display their support. The volleyball team chose to have an Alzheimer’s awareness game instead.
All of Leesville’s students have the opportunity to show their support at the annual pink-out football game. This year it was on Friday, October 6, away at Broughton.
Sean Colbert-Louis, junior, said, “Pink-out is Leesville’s way of contributing to breast cancer awareness. We always have to be as positive as possible because it is something that is so important to recognize. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers for women, so it is always important to spread awareness and show support for anyone who may be dealing with it or has loved ones who are.”
Breast cancer uses the logo of a pink ribbon to represent its survivors because it represents traditional feminine roles, as well as the courage to fight and hope for the future. Alexandra Penney created the ribbon in 1992. It is now used to publicly show support for the breast cancer movement.
Lily Myers, sophomore, said, “I think that it is very important to spread awareness, my mother had a close call with breast cancer. Luckily it was found early on and was able to be treated pretty easily. I hope that one day we can find a cure for all cancers so no families have to go through what mine did.”
A cure has yet to be found for breast cancer, but many efforts are ongoing towards finding one.
If students want to get involved outside of school, Raleigh and the Triangle area host many events throughout October. North Carolina State University has its annual Play for Kay women’s basketball game. It honors their retired basketball coach who passed away from breast cancer after fighting on and off for over 20 years. Cancer survivors have the opportunity to be recognized on the court during half-time.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation holds Race for the Cure internationally, with one of the locations being right here in downtown Raleigh. This year the race is going to be held on May 18, 2024. Although it is not during October, it is still a huge event to raise money for finding the cure to breast cancer.