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Increased awareness helps advance breast cancer research

By Amanda Gibson, Pocahontas County High School
MARLINTON, W.Va. -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where women and men come together to recognize the fight of the families who have encountered this terrible, widespread cancer.Breast cancer affects women and a small percentage of men, but for no apparent reason. Women have heard a variety of ways to steer clear of breast cancer, ranging from eating healthy and exercising daily to using certain types of deodorant that do not contain specific chemicals and minerals.According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the first-stage breast cancer survival rate is currently 98 percent, a substantial increase from the 74 percent survival rate in 1980. Seventy percent of women over 40 are now scheduling annual mammograms, and health services are targeting young women, educating them on self-examination techniques to help them recognize breast deformities that may indicate cancer.There are many foundations and organizations that work hard to combat breast cancer every day, such as the Keep A Breast Foundation, which is responsible for the popular "I Love Boobies" bracelets. Susan G. Komen for the Cure has donated more than $2 million to breast cancer research and has been a driving force behind breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen and Relay for Life are major foundations that host walks and races that help raise money for research.
Pocahontas County High School junior Danielle Cain is the granddaughter of Barbara Campbell, a 10-year participant in Relay for Life. Campbell, who has a Relay for Life team called Barbara's Buddies, said Pocahontas County alone raised $17,000 dollars this year to donate to research for various cancers.Cain said, "Breast Cancer Awareness Month is important; it brings attention to breast cancer and helps people become aware of what is really going on. It means a lot to my family because some of my closest family members have been affected by it. My grandma's strength through her battle with cancer has been an inspiration to me."Responding to a question posed on social media, North Marion High School senior Ciara Toothman said, "Having a mother that is a three-year survivor of breast cancer, it's so amazing to me to see everyone come together to celebrate her strength and also work towards finding cures to help others suffering from this disease."Whether they are lost in ways to protect themselves from breast cancer or fighting alongside a family member, many families are suffering from the epidemic of breast cancer that is sweeping the nation. Many foundations and organizations are battling against breast cancer every day and donating funds to research.Medicine and early detection methods have greatly improved and first-stage cancer patient survival rates have substantially increased. These are signs of achievement in breast cancer awareness, and this is something to celebrate during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
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