|Trick or treat?|
Today is one of my favorite holidays: Halloween! It is also the last day of October, otherwise known as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month”.
Over the past eighteen months, three of my friends have been diagnosed with this disease, with the most recent just beginning her treatment last week. They are just 3 of the over 230,000 new cases of breast cancer reported each year in the United States. All three of them have seen more than their share of ups and downs with this disease, which is something they have all spoken to me – and others – about with complete honesty in an effort to help educate those around them. For this I am extremely grateful as I believe that their candor will help so many others in ways that we have yet to realize. It is my sincere hope that, because of their diligence and early detection, my friends will not only overcome this disease, but also maintain a clean bill of health for many years to come.
While breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death (after lung cancer) in the U.S., the good news is that breast cancer death rates are declining. This decrease is attributed to the combination of better and more effective treatment, earlier detection, and increased awareness. Is it scary to get the big “C”-word diagnosis? You bet. But, as all three of my friends have proven, the best way to get healthy is to go on the offensive and be assertive and aggressive in fighting the disease. We must educate ourselves and those around us and encourage each other to be aware of our bodies and any changes we notice. ALL THREE of my friends detected their cancer because they found something “suspicious” and alerted their physicians.
|Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net|
So, as we leave the “pink ribbon” month, I want to remind everyone to be diligent about their breast health – not just in October, but all year round.
Now, go, have fun, and enjoy this most delightful of holidays - and remember to take care of yourself EVERY day!