Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Loving the Breasts

by DavidHawk Actor

 (Photo taken from cancers.1000space.com)

For those of you who don't know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's a time where real men wear pink. I am a guy, and as such, I don't know much about breast cancer. I understand the concept, however. A woman develops a disease that affects their breasts. Luckily, they didn't bury the lead; they put it right out front. Breast Cancer. 

I want to start this article in complete ignorance. There are things I've heard, but this opinion has no research behind it. After I’ll put my thoughts to this writing though, I'll do a little fact checking. The amount depends on my laziness. 

So let’s put everything I know about cancer into one sentence. Cancer affects everyone. It really is that simple. We all know someone who has fought through a type of cancer, or chances are, we, ourselves, will have to fight it. 

Now that I've told you what I know, it’s time to bust into my opinions on breasts. First, as a man, I am really a breast man. Second, I’ve heard that one in eight women will have to deal with breast cancer.  That is huge. There are over three billion women in the world. Using my quick calculator, that means, approximately 375,000,000 women will contract breast cancer. If that number doesn’t seem huge to you, you must be from China. 

Earlier, when I said (even though it’s in print, I still said it aloud as I wrote it) that cancer affects everyone, I wasn’t saying that in a blanket effect. I guarantee that everyone reading this has someone in their life that has had cancer. My sister-in-law had ovarian cancer. If you're rolling a tear right now, I'll give you permission to stop because she did beat it. Unfortunately, she can’t have any more kids.

I know for a fact that the people who choose to fight any disease are strong. I read a lot of comic books, but that is not a subject that is usually addressed there. You might see a character who died of some form of cancer, but to actually see the treatments and the medications, it just shows your true colors. I definitely tip my hat to any cancer survivor because the worry, the stress, and the pain they all go through just make you know without a shadow of doubt that you should be thankful for every day you’re alive. 

Time for some facts. “Breast cancer is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.” And yes, I literally just copy and pasted that. Now, I am not a doctor (I just play one in the bedroom), but that sounds very technical. Cancer is an unregulated cell growth. As the cells divide themselves and grow, they become malignant tumors. Those tumors then invade other areas. 

Once you are diagnosed with cancer, the preferred treatment is surgery where they carefully go in and cut the infected cells out. One of the most successful treatments for breast cancer is the one we’ve heard about a lot, chemotherapy. Chemo is where the infected person takes a variety of chemical medications that slow the speed of the cell divisions or kill those cancerous cells. And up until right now, I always confused chemo with our next therapy, radiation. As you can guess, I'm an idiot. But radiation is used to bombard the affected area with high doses of ionizing radiation. 

As a whole, approximately half of the people who are diagnosed with invasive cancer survive. That is a glass-half-full way of saying that half don’t make it. Wearing a pink ribbon is not going to save anyone’s life, but if a woman with breast cancer sees that and gains just another moment of strength—a moment that helps her recover—then we should all be wearing pink. 

The donations that everyday people make to assist in finding cures for this disease as well as many others is instrumental. Think about that when you see the donation boxes at stores or at the marathons asking for donations. We ALL will be affected by cancer. Finding cures to these diseases is one of the most important things this world needs. If you want to find ways to help organize fund raisers, donate or just learn more about breast cancer, click HERE and HERE and worst case scenario, go to Wikipedia. And always remember, I love your avatars!

 [Editor's note: Although it is rare, it is not uncommon too for men to be stricken with Breast Cancer. Cancer affects all, and this type of cancer is no exception.]

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