Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Good Deeds, Good Science: Breast Cancer Research and Education

Normal (left) versus cancerous (right) mammography image.
Public domain, from the National Cancer Institute. 

Recently, funding for breast cancer research and clinical detection has been a highly popular topic of discussion.  There was a very large, collective voice angered by the decision of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to stop contributing to Planned Parenthood.  And this voice was loud enough to make a difference.

If only breast cancer had ears.

On February 6, 2012, the world lost not one, but two amazing women to breast cancer: Susan Niebur, also known as WhyMommy; and Rachel Cheetham Moro of The Cancer Culture Chronicles.  Both women spoke candidly about their individual battle with metastatic breast cancer. Their deliberate determination to beat this thing was always apparent, whether they showed it through humor (see this “Favorite Things” post by Rachel), or through a deeply rooted sense of gratitude, as exemplified by Susan’s “Going HOME!” post.

Unfortunately, Susan and Rachel are not anomalies. They are but two of the approximately 40,000 women (in US alone) projected to lose the battle in 2012. 

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women. These odds put someone you know – your wife, mother, sister, girlfriend, aunt, daughter, friend, cousin, neighbor, co-worker – at risk.

In the "Goodbye" post written by Susan Niebur’s husband Curt (WhyDaddy), he made the following request:

In lieu of flowers, please consider furthering Susan’s legacy through a contribution to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Or please choose to make a difference somewhere, anywhere, to anyone.

To help uphold that request, and to honor Susan, Rachel, and the thousands of women and men diagnosed with breast cancer each year, we at Double X Science have compiled a list of breast cancer charities.  If you have the means, please take time to donate. 

What I have learned from Susan Niebur is that there is more than one kind of breast cancer, and lumps are not required.  This foundation is dedicated to researching the mechanisms involved in the development of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rare but extremely aggressive cancer comprising 1-5% of all breast cancer cases in the US.

Located in the Houston area, The Rose is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing women with breast health essentials, such as mammography screening, diagnosis, support, and treatment to any and all women, regardless of ability to pay. 

This brazen organization is dedicated to eradicating breast cancer BY JANUARY 1, 2020.  That’s less than 8 years from now.  Imagine that.  The NBCCF encompasses hundreds of smaller organizations and represents millions of patients, along with their health care professionals, family, friends, etc. 

Contrary to popular belief, breast cancer affects younger women too.  In fact, I have two friends that were diagnosed before the age of 30.  The mission of this organization is to help scientists and physicians better serve young women affected by breast cancer. 

The mission of the National Breast Cancer Foundation is to increase breast cancer awareness and education.  They’ve also partnered with medical centers across the US to provide free mammography services and diagnostic services to underserved women. 

This is a national education and support organization dedicated to help those who are newly diagnosed, in treatment, or are beyond treatment stages.  It also serves as a support network for the friends and family of those affected by breast cancer.  They have a Survivor’s Helpline - (888) 753-LBBC (5222) – run by trained volunteers and sponsor many conferences in the name of breast cancer education.

Breastcancer.org serves to educate those living with breast cancer, providing the most up to date scientific literature so that those affected by breast cancer can make informed decisions on their health and well being.  You can watch a video about how Breastcancer.org has helped those in need.

If you would like to learn more about these organizations, including how they compare to others across the country, you can go to Charity Navigator.

1 comment:

  1. I heard that one of the non-psychoactive chemicals in cannabis, CBD, is good at hindering breast cancer :o)