October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua)
October 6, 2017

This October, designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we will again rally together to raise awareness and offer support to families struggling to fight against a breast cancer diagnosis. With information, testing and adequate resources, we can combat this terrible disease and reduce its impact. The American Cancer Society projects there will be almost 253,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women this year. In total, breast cancer will claim the lives of more than 40,000 women in 2017. Women aren’t the only ones to get breast cancer— men are diagnosed with it, too. In fact, in 2017, about 2,470 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease.

Many discover signs of breast cancer through self-testing. Self-exams are a critical tool in the fight against breast cancer, which becomes more likely with age. Early prevention can help minimize the chance of the cancer spreading, making it easier to treat and cure. Schedule a yearly check-up with your doctor to maintain proper health; depending on your doctor’s recommendation, schedule a breast exam or mammography.

SUPPORT IN THE FINGER LAKES REGION

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is an excellent resource right here in the Finger Lakes Region. The coalition brings together survivors, staff and the community to create a network of support and provides information to ensure no family goes through breast cancer alone. It offers programs, workshops and both traditional and non-traditional support groups.

Nationally, the American Cancer Society has an enormous amount of information, statistics and downloadable content aimed at helping patients and their loved ones navigate their diagnosis. Information is another crucial tool used to mitigate the consequences of cancer.

SUPPORTING A LOVED ONE WHO HAS CANCER

When you find out someone you love has cancer of any kind, the news can be devastating. Support for those diagnosed with or being treated for breast cancer is important.

Men Against Breast Cancer (MABC) is a national non-profit organization designed to provide services for men caring for someone with breast cancer. It offers a “unique” and “integrative” approach to showing men how they can be effective caregivers. Breast cancer, like most challenges, is best fought with the collective support, strength and love of others.

By taking time this October to recognize the challenges of breast cancer and advocate for proactive treatment, we will focus our efforts on combating a disease that impacts families every day. Together, we can make great progress for patients and families.

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030 or email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov.