Christmas Eve, 2oo3, I was lying on the bed of Hahnemann University hospital in downtown Philly being prepped for the surgery to remove a mass in my breast. My memories of the past are kind of foggy, but I remember that day....[I was 16 yrs old].... That morning.... [It was 6am]. My surgery was scheduled for 8 o'clock that morning. The doctor was really nice. A young, White male who asked me what my career goals were. I told him boldly that I wanted to be neurosurgeon. I asked him what his profession was, he told me he was a cancer surgeon.
My career goals have changed since then, but my fear of cancer still remains. The tumor they removed that day was benign. Since then, I have had 2 more spring up in my breast that I don't even want to have removed. I feel as though I would lose a part of my femininity if my boobs were any smaller. But then I think about the many other women who DO have breast cancer. Those women whose lives have changed as a result. It's a hard thing to deal with, I'm sure, but I'm grateful that I was not afflicted. Ever since then, I've been trying to be as active as possible in informing my generation about breast cancer. It is not inevitable. Cancer is a disease of old age (as your cells continue to divide and more and more mutations are made), but you can never be "too young" to develop it.
Today starts Breast Cancer Awareness Month. About a year ago, I discovered the Love/Avon Army of Women website . I think I first heard about it on the TodayShow. as I am an avid viewer of the show [like a middle aged house-wife ;0)]. You can find out more about Dr. Susan Love here.
The goal of Dr. Love's website is to gather 1 million women (young, old and healthy and/or stricken with breast cancer) to sign up and participate in breast cancer research studies in order to find the cause of breast cancer and ultimately the cure. You see, with one million women in one centralized area, it is easier and more convenient to perform studies that would provide a significant amount of data. When conducting surveys, many people aim to have at least 100 participants, to represent an entire population of people. It is then that their data is considered plausible. How much more would 1 million participants be in the conductance of these breast cancer studies? Army of Women currently has 338,370 participants, which means we are a LONG ways off from having a million. Please join to help in this initiative.
Below is a video of their public service announcement. I like it a lot, but there were many other video entries here.
More about Love/Avon Army of Women:
- Men are able to sign up for the Army of Women too.
- When you sign up, you are signing up to be added to the Army of Women database to hear about research projects—signing up for the Army of Women does NOT sign you up for a study yet.
- The Army of Women Research Studies are prevention based, not clinical trials.
- Participants must be 18 and older—but they need ALL ethnicities—ALL ages, healthy women, women with cancer and women who are survivors.
- There is absolutely NO COST to join and take part in something this important—they are not asking for donations, just for women to sign up and agree to hear about studies. Participation in any of their studies is ALWAYS, COMPLETELY voluntary.
- Participants will be involved in important research to discover THE CAUSE of breast cancer—how to stop it before it starts.
- Women who join have the ability to participate only in those projects that interest them. They can opt to decline any study invitation, or accept any invitation of their choosing.
- Studies will require a variety of different things (women can be asked anything from filling out an online questionnaire to being asked for a blood sample). It all varies according to study.