An important month, to be sure


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), and the program has grown in leaps and bounds as awareness of the disease has grown along with it.

According to the the American Cancer Society’s Web site (www.cancer.org), NBCAM begam as a weeklong campaign in 1985 with two founding members. Today, NBCAM comprises several national service organizations, government agencies and professional medical associations. Thousands of volunteers now raise money for breast cancer research and awareness throughout the year, but October is the month when many events are scheduled.

Locally, our community does a terrific job — both in raising funds and in promoting new diagnostic techniques, as well as attemtpting to spur early detection. One tool the American Cancer Society uses is a mammogram reminder. It is an e-mail system that will send an e-mail to all woman ages 40 and older who register to remind them that they need to schedule their annual mammogram. There is also a list of Relay for Life events, an auction network set up to help raise money, survivor networks and much more.

It truly is a valuable tool.

Because of the work of the American Cancer Society, NBCAM, dedicated researchers and volunteers, breast cancer is, in fact, being detected early more often now, and survival rates have climbed. It is progress due to the efforts of many, but there is still much work to be done.

The NFL will throw their support behind the cause this weekend, as the whole league gets involved. Players will wear pink cleats, wristbands, gloves and more. Coaches and sideline personnel will wear pink caps, there will be pink goal post padding in the end zones and pink rally towels will be given to all fans attending Sunday Night and Monday Night Football games.

The progress made regarding research, detection and treatment of breast cancer has been remarkable — and it has been a team effort by more people than can possibly be counted.

This month will see a surge in volunteerism and money in the fight, and we hope it continues.