Today’s Editorial for October 2: Help fight breast cancer

Tuesday marked the first day of October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer should be uppermost in people’s minds throughout the year, but October has been chosen as a month to focus on this awful killer of women – and men.

We all know someone who is or was suffering from breast cancer and many women wonder whether they, too, will be affected with the disease.

That’s why it is so important to do everything you can to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Unfortunately no one knows exactly what causes breast cancer, who gets it and why others don’t. Right now we don’t have the knowledge to prevent it.

But we can fight it.

Scientists and doctors are constantly looking at the things in our environment that can cause breast cancer.

Firstly there are those internal things – things within our bodies that can contribute to breast cancer.

There are the genes that you inherited from your mum and dad, hormones, your emotions and illnesses.

Then they consider the influences outside your body, such as food, music, noise, stress, people, water, food, etc. These things enter our internal environment constantly.

There are things you can do to control the risk factors of breast cancer.

If you are overweight, find a way to lose your excess baggage. It can help reduce your risk of breast cancer.

If you smoke, simply stop. It is a matter of will. You’ll not only be doing your body a favour, but you will also stop contributing second-hand smoke to those around you.

Women – and men – who have a family history of breast cancer should be screened on a regular basis.

Women older than 40 should be screened every two years; or as often as your doctor advises.

Throughout this month you will see women – and men – donning pink ribbons, shirts and even shoes as part of the Pink Ribbon Campaign, which aims to celebrate the achievements of breast cancer research and raise money to help research and find a cure for breast cancer.

The Lions Club is actively selling pink pins and wristbands this month to help raise money for this worthy cause.

If you’re approached, please help.

The pink ribbon is the international symbol of breast cancer awareness, thanks to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which first started handing out pink ribbons in 1991 at its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.

We all hear a lot about Susan G. Komen, but few know who she actually was. Susan was a woman from Peoria, Illinois, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33 and died three years later. Her younger sister made a promise to Susan to find a way to speed up breast cancer research and founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in her sister’s memory in 1982.

That organisation’s mission now is to end breast cancer forever.

And you can help.

Please donate generously to the Lions Club and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

Together we can help beat this disease that is a killer to women – and men.