October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Each year, we recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to highlight the three million women and men who are currently coping with a breast cancer diagnosis in the United States. There is no sure way to prevent cancer, but with early prevention campaigns we can find the disease early and stop cancer from spreading to areas like the lungs or blood, which can be significantly more difficult to treat and cure.

While buying pink wrist bands or watching professional athletes wear pink on their uniforms won’t end breast cancer, these awareness programs shed light on a topic that isn’t always easy to talk about. The majority of women who discover they have breast cancer find it themselves and not through mammograms. It is important to stay vigilant and continue self-exams, as the odds of getting breast cancer increase for women as they age. If you do find yourself facing a diagnosis, there are great organizations in the Finger Lakes Region set up specifically to help people who are fighting or recovering from breast cancer and those who support them.

SUPPORT CAN BE FOUND HERE AT HOME
 
The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) recently put together a list of 31 Things to Know about the disease, recognizing the 31 days in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The coalition provides support, education, and funding for research locally, while serving women (and men) in the community diagnosed with breast cancer. 

On October 26 at 7 p.m., the BCCR is hosting a Lives Touched, Lives Celebrated event that will pay tribute to the women and men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The event includes a short candlelit walk, reflective readings and a tribute.

EMBRACE YOUR SISTERS
 
Fighting cancer goes much deeper than treatment; many people struggle to pay bills and handle every day responsibilities on top of their health issues. Embrace Your Sisters (EYS) is a Canandaigua based non-profit organization that provides emergency short-term financial relief to women with breast cancer in the Finger Lakes Region, among other services.  

In support of EYS, Rockcastle Florist, in Canandaigua, is hosting a Wine & Design event where participants can design their own pumpkin bouquet while sipping some complimentary wine.

MEN AGAINST BREAST CANCER 
 
Men Against Breast Cancer (MABC) is the only national non-profit organization, designed to provide support services to men who are caring for a loved one battling breast cancer. Approximately 2,600 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The organization’s philosophy is to leverage the support of the whole family to help the patient, with an emphasis on the men who are caring for the women they love.

Together we can overcome breast cancer by raising awareness and catching it before it spreads. Advances in medicine and technology are helping to combat this disease and many of these organizations and events contribute money for research.  

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, email me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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