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Guest Column from State Representative Richard Adams

Battling Breast Cancer and Raising Awareness
October 24, 2014
Republican Newsroom

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I hope this October, you’ve been able to join with others across the nation to honor, remember and reflect on the brave individuals who have battled, and are currently battling, breast cancer. First established in 1985, the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign seeks to generate attention for the disease and raise funds for research on its prevention, treatment, and eventual cure.

Despite the fact that many Americans may know about the disease and might notice the abundance of pink ribbons worn throughout the month of October, often individuals are not fully informed on how to detect the disease in its early stages, or are hesitant to encourage others to do so. That is why it is vital for both men and women to rally behind the cause.

Currently, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death among women in the United States, and it is listed by the World Health Organization as the most common female cancer worldwide. Each year, it is projected that more than 220,000 American women will be diagnosed with the disease, and tragically, more than 40,000 of these women will lose their fight with breast cancer, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

While the statistics are distressing, recent breast cancer trends have shown more positive and uplifting results. Death rates from breast cancer have been on the decline since the 1990s, and recent studies have demonstrated a gradual reduction in breast cancer rates for women aged 50 and older. Improved early screening and detection, evolving and expanded treatment options, and a rise in awareness and regular self-exams are all factors in these promising developments.

The significant gains in breast cancer research and awareness are encouraging, yet there is still progress to be made. We must continue to educate women, volunteer for fundraisers, and support research so that breast cancer can someday be eliminated from our local communities and from communities across the globe.