Breast Cancer has touched my family in a way I hope no one ever has to experience. In a span of about 2 1/2 years, my family lost my Aunt and my Mom (who were sisters) to this dreaded disease. Both of them were relatively young and otherwise healthy women with no prior family history of the disease. The aftermath of this enormous loss has produced much heartache and grief that my family is still trying to come to terms with today.
Losing a loved one to Breast Cancer, or any cancer for that matter, is extremely difficult and has changed me in many ways. I am not the same person I once was. There are parts of me that will be forever lost, but there are also new things I've discovered about myself that are a direct result of what my family has endured.
Shortly after I lost my Mom, my sister, Renee and I joined the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Passionately Pink team and raised funds to support Breast Cancer research. I've become much more vigilant about my own breast health as well as educating others about the disease and I am more acutely aware of the disease and its need for a cure.
The causes of breast cancer are not fully understood. Although it is clear that age, gender and lifetime exposure to estrogen and other factors play an important role, but because no one knows exactly what causes breast cancer, there are no sure ways to prevent it. There are steps that you can take that may reduce your risk, however. These include maintaining a healthy weight, adding exercise into your daily routine and limiting alcohol intake.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which means you will start to see pink ribbons and pink products everywhere. You can help others who are battling this disease by purchasing products from manufacturers who donate a portion of the proceeds to causes dedicated to finding a cure.
A Breast Cancer diagnosis is a scary thing for patients and their families, but it doesn't have to be. Researchers are closer than ever to finding a cure, but they need your continued support. Do your part, get involved and make a difference in someone's life today!