October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Hello, my name is David Williams and I am the director of Product Management for Allegro Medical. Breast Cancer Awareness Month has a profound meaning for me personally this year as the person that means the most to me in the world was diagnosed with breast cancer in August. We are very fortunate in that this was detected very early during a routine mammogram. The particular type of cancer that she has is undetectable in a self evaluation and could have gone unnoticed for a long time. We are also very grateful that the prognosis for successful treatment is very good because of the type of cancer and the level and stage that it is at.
Her experience has forced me to deal with the shock and pain associated with something that was completely unexpected. I can only imagine what this must be like for my wife or any other person dealing directly with this disease. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to any women or men dealing with breast cancer. I would also like to make a comment to the family, friends and support groups that are there for people with this disease – thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support, compassion, and well wishes. You have no idea what it means to know that you are there for us as we fight our way through this tangle of questions and emotions.
It never occurred to me that my healthy wife would be dealing with something like this. She is young, physically fit, and has never smoked. I always thought of this as something that only happens to “other people”. My world has changed from the instant the first conversation occurred in which the dreaded “c-word” was mentioned. That moment on the phone with my wife is both a time that I will never forget and one that I will always try to forget. Questions and confusion instantly exploded in my mind – What does this mean? Why her? What’s next? Will she lose her hair? Does it hurt? Will it hurt? Is there more? Will I be strong enough to support her? What does she need from me right now? My mind was running while my mouth was trying to catch up and find the words to express the support her at that time.
I also discovered that in this journey I have gone from having very little knowledge about breast cancer to having knowing more than ever which can help, confuse, and be often times frightening. The Internet has a tremendous amount of information available but I still found it helpful to work closely with the doctors and ask them every question I could think of. These discussions have helped us focus our research efforts and stay on the topic. It is almost like looking at it on a step-by-step basis for us to help keep us from getting too far out and getting overwhelmed.
The encouraging news is that the efforts in early diagnosis and improved treatments have been advancing dramatically. Here is some information:
The good news published by the American Cancer Society regarding breast cancer is that deaths from breast cancer have been declining since 1990. These decreases are due to early detection through screening, increased awareness and improved treatment.
While Breast Cancer awareness, diagnosis and treatment have improved tremendously over the last few years there are some facts that everyone should also be aware of as published by the American Cancer Society
The numbers are a bit staggering even with the good news that treatment is getting better and the survival rate is growing. To put it in perspective you or somebody you care about deeply is likely to be affected by breast cancer in your lifetime. As I said earlier, I never thought I would be dealing with anything like this.
Here are some of the really helpful websites that we have been reading to find information. They all contain great information on many aspects of breast cancer. Many of the organizations listed below raise the money that supports research to find the cure. Others raise money to immediately help people with breast cancer. Please support them any way you can. Remember, every little bit helps.
The American Cancer Society is great for information on all types of cancer. They have specific categories so that you can find detailed information on breast cancer. This includes health information, statistics and research. They also include information on how to become involved in support groups. There is much more information on this site to assist you in the management of your experience.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s slogan is “help for today and hope for tomorrow”. They raise money for education and to provide mammograms for those who otherwise cannot afford these tests. The site also includes a great amount of innformation for coping with and understanding an initial diagnosis of breast cancer. This organization was founded by Janelle Hale who is a 26 year survivor.
The Susan G Komen for the Cure was founded on the promise by Nancy Brinker to her dying sister Susan Koman that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. This mission of this organization is simply “One vision – a world without breast cancer”. The site includes valuable breast cancer information, facts, detection and screening information, treatment information, post treatment information, support, therapies, research and resources.
Breastcancer.org slogan is “your lifeline for the best medical information about breast cancer”. This site contains lots of great information including details on symptoms and diagnosis, treatment and side effects, research news, recovery and renewal, support, and lowering your risk. This site was very informational while being easy to understand.
We can all help find the cure. It is easy to participate in breast cancer fund raising events that support detection, treatment, and research. Donations to these organizations are always appreciated. There are many fund raising events that take place locally that support the cause. There are even products that you purchase that result in a portion of the proceeds being donated to various organizations.
We at Allegro Medical have found some great products that are available which result in a portion of the proceeds being donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. These donations support breast cancer education and mammogram financial assistance for women that cannot otherwise afford this test.
Please consider any or all of these great products if this is something that you or someone that you know may need. We are going to continue to look for more manufacturers and suppliers to partner with to raise money that will support the fight against breast cancer.
Breast cancer and the treatments are unique as the people that are being treated. I have identified products that may be of benefit to those going though treatment. Some products are to help you heal and others are to help you be more comfortable. We will continue to add products to this category as we find new vendors and products. Please feel free to browse our Breast Cancer Awareness Month category on our website.
I would like to finish this with a personal wish for the very best if you or a loved one is dealing with breast cancer. Remember that you are not alone! My thoughts and prayers are with you all. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but unfortunately breast cancer doesn’t read the calendar. Remember to support the fight against breast cancer year round.
Director of Product Management,