Another October brings another chance to spread breast cancer awareness

For so many, October stirs feelings about breast cancer survivorship and support as Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes the spotlight. You will be hard-pressed to find someone who has not been directly or at least indirectly impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis.

At the Franklin County Times, we want you to know our thoughts are also with those who have been impacted and those who have been touched by this cancer.

This month is as good a time as any to tune into the facts about breast cancer and either take steps yourself, or encourage others to take steps, to stop it in its tracks. It’s crucial to recognize the warning signs and risk factors, undergo necessary scans and keep breast health at the forefront.

October was first dedicated for breast cancer awareness in 1985. Nearly four decades later, it might seem impossible to imagine anyone not being “aware” of breast cancer. Nevertheless, in many ways, the need is still great.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a call to be tuned into one’s breast health, to strengthen support for those battling the disease and to share information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the cancer that has impacted so many.

As the Susan G. Komen Foundation highlights, through research, growing knowledge about breast cancer has led to new therapies and targeted treatments that have improved outcomes for many – people like our friends, family and neighbors right here in Franklin County. Research, and the advancement that results, brings hope to people facing this disease.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, more than 2,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Early detection is key to successful treatment of breast cancer, so with that in mind, we join the voices urging proactive self-exams and mammograms.

If you think you can’t afford a mammogram or other scan, Russellville Hospital might be able to help. The Russellville Fire Department’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirt sale and the Book Lovers Study Club’s annual Walk to Wellness help support a fund at the hospital that benefits women who might find it challenging to pay for such scans.

Imagine a world where we didn’t have to lose any more of our loved ones to breast cancer. Oh, what a world that would be! Maybe this October we can get one step closer to that idyllic imagined world.

It might be many years – or, to face the sad reality, never – before that dream is actually realized. We can’t, however, lose hope. For every case of breast cancer that is treated successfully, that is so much more time left to enjoy and make memories with those we love – who might in the past, without the medical advancements we have now, have faced a quick end to life.

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