Saturday, October 27, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

How did Breast Cancer Awareness Month start
The first National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) took place in October 1985 and was intended to increase awareness of breast cancer issues, especially the importance of early detection.
During NBCAM, women are encouraged to educate themselves about the disease, perform regular breast self-examinations, and schedule an annual mammogram.
The pink ribbon symbol
The first known use of the pink ribbon was in the fall of 1991, when the Susan G. Komen Foundation had handed them out to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. In 1993, Evelyn Lauder (of Estée Lauder Inc.) founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and used the pink ribbon as its logo, popularizing the symbol and its association with the disease.For the past two decades the world every October swathes itself in pink and turns attention to a deadly disease. In the U.S. alone a quarter of a million women are diagnosed while nearly 40,000 die from breast cancer each year.  And that's just the US!
Stars That Battled Breast Cancer:
Kathy Bates, Maura Tierney, Judy Blume, Ann Romney, Edie Falco, Suzanne Somers, Olivia Newton-John, Giuliana Rancic, Wanda Sykes, Christina Applegate, Melissa Etheridge, Robin Roberts, Kylie Minogue, Sheryl Crow (list from the Huffington Post
What Breast Cancer means to me
My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer way back in 1969 and had a mastectomy.  In those days they didn't worry about reconstruction or leaving a nice scar.  They just hacked off the breast in the most brutal way.  I remember as a child going to visit her in hospital, and seeing her hands tied to her neck to stop her from touching the wound where her right breast used to be.  She used a bag of bird seed as a breast prosthesis.  One day after quickly taking washing off the line when the rain started, the seeds in her prosthesis started to germinate.
My own story with breast cancer started in 2003.  You can read about it here.  I had reconstruction done at the same time.  My problems from the tram flap reconstruction were not pleasant.  In my hub I write about the pros and cons of it.  My second bout with breast cancer was in 2011.  I went for an implant but that has not been without complications.  In August this year I got breast cellulitis and had to have the implant removed.  My breasts have proved to be a curse.  What I once thought was my best feature became my enemy.  excess, have always been a conservative social drinker.  I have never smoked or taken drugs.  I breast-fed my three children for a total of 5 years.  I did everything right, so why did I get breast cancer not once, but twice?  I have come to realise that sometimes bad things just happen to good people.  There doesn't have to be a reason, it can just be in your genetic make-up.  It can also just be shitty rotten luck.  Whatever the reason, you just have to deal with it as best you can.  Be grateful it was picked up early.  Be thankful that you are one of the lucky ones that survived.
Cindy Vine is the author of the novels Not Telling, Defective and C U @ 8.  They are available on, Barnes and, Sony and the Apple iStore.

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