Breast Cancer Awareness Month unites community for a cure

By Casey Carpenter

If you’ve walked around the neighborhood lately, or watched the news, you might notice a significant amount of people wearing pink. It’s October, and that means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Perhaps one of the most well-known results of the push for cancer awareness, BCA Month is recognized worldwide. Its effects can be seen from the pink equipment used by sports teams to pink ribbons pinned to shirt collars, all intended to spread awareness of breast cancer and honor the many affected by the disease. 

Symptoms of breast cancer can include a lump in the breast, bloody discharge from the nipple and changes in the shape or texture of nipples or breasts. Across America, over 200,000 cases of breast cancer are reported each year. However, as public awareness and early detection technologies improve, the number of cases that are caught early is on the rise. Despite these advances, around 40,000 Americans continue to die each year because of the disease. Treatments and drugs for breast cancer can be prohibitively expensive, with some individual medications costing in excess of $10,000 dollars a month. BCA month brings attention to the many obstacles that breast cancer patients and their loved ones may face due to a diagnosis and its aftermath. 

There are many charities and organizations to help people with breast cancer, the most prominent of which is Susan G. Komen (formally known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and originally as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation). Founded by Nancy Brinker and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Susan G. Komen is a non-profit organization and is considered to be the largest and most popular organization combating breast cancer, raising over $10,000,000 each year. It has attracted the attention and donations of many high-profile companies, such as World Wrestling Entertainment, Bank of America and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have made donations totaling to more than $250,000 over the past nine years to aid the organization. 

BCA Month has had far-reaching effects in spreading awareness. A local event at Gas Works Park in Seattle is the Making Strides Seattle Walk. The event took place on Saturday, October 19 and was a three-mile walk meant to honor and bring together those who have been affected by breast cancer. The walk also served to raise money which will be used for innovative research and to reduce the risks of breast cancer through investment in early detection technologies and practices. 

The community at MTHS also honors BCA Month. On Monday of this year’s Homecoming week, there was a spirit day dubbed “Pink Out.” Students wore pink on this day in honor of BCA Month. Also during this week, MTHS students will be able to donate funds in both lunch periods for breast cancer awareness. All donations collected will be going toward the Susan G Komen Foundation.

BCA Month is honored in many ways every year. It lives up to its purpose by spreading awareness for breast cancer and has gotten to a point where the event not only raises awareness but also brings people together. It gives families struggling with breast cancer hope that humanity will one day be free of this terrible disease.