EDITORIAL: Together for a cure

The words “breast cancer” cause dread among every woman who hears them, but because of a worldwide research and detection initiative with special emphases like National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, starting today, those diagnosed have an increasing chance of standing among survivors – more than 2.5 million in the U.S. alone.
In Mississippi, about 2,290 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2006, the most recent year of official government health statistics; 440 women died from the disease that year in our state.
The American Cancer Society’s informed estimate places new invasive breast cancer cases this year at about 207,090, about 54,010 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer), and about 39,840 deaths from breast cancer among women.
Men can have breast cancer, but the rate is minuscule compared to women.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
The scientific projection that has raised awareness almost everywhere is that one among every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and one in every 35 will die from the disease.
Breast cancer death rates encouragingly have been going down, and it’s almost certainly the result of finding the cancer earlier and initiating better treatment, federal health officials reported earlier this year.
The emotional trauma of breast cancer reaches far wider than the physical damage. Few people, few families, few businesses or organizations escape confrontation with stark news of loved ones, friends and colleagues diagnosed with the disease.
The Daily Journal and its parent company, Journal Inc., support breast cancer research and assistance for patients. The Journal will donate 10 percent of the advertising revenue from today’s special section and pages to the Komen North Mississippi Race for the Cure, as well as a percentage of all single-copy newspaper sales in October.
Each Tuesday this month, beginning Oct. 5, a special pink insert will provide additional information and features.
The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chances for cure. Early detection means women have more treatment options.
Call 1-800-721-7222 toll free for information about self-examination and mammograms (Mississippi State Board of Health), or see a private physician, community health center, or county health department. Women 50 or older should have a mammogram now, and follow up annually.
We owe it to one another to beat this disease.

NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio