We all know that serious subjects can be difficult to talk about. War, famine, poverty—it is not easy to be confronted with these somber topics as we flip through the channels or page through the newspaper. However, these kinds of problems are the ones that most demand our attention, and it is only through sustained activism that we can begin to make a difference.

You may have noticed the pink ribbons recently featured in the media and displayed on products. This symbol reminds us that October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Though breast cancer is a very serious issue, this month is not about sorrow or despair. Rather, it is devoted to the uplifting message of hope, through efforts of education and prevention.

Breast cancer is not a localized or case-specific illness. It affects one in eight women throughout their lifetimes. While this statistic can be overwhelming, it only provides more incentive to join in the fight against breast cancer. This could be as simple as getting regular screenings or encouraging a loved one to visit the local clinic. Early detection allows patients to begin treatments in the first stages of the disease, giving them a better prognosis down the road. This could make all the difference for many people.

We truly cannot afford to ignore this issue as we go about our daily lives. The 1.3 million women who are diagnosed with breast cancer annually need our continued support. These women are our mothers and sisters, neighbors and friends. The network of individuals affected by breast cancer encompasses even more people, including both men and women. From the strong survivor to the daughter who outlives her mother, there are personal stories of strength all around us. Remember that we are not alone in this matter. There is always somewhere to turn for words of hope or a source of solace.

In the spirit of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” empower yourself with knowledge of the illness. Breast cancer has touched us all, and there are many ways we can fight back. Read survivor narratives, buy a pink ribbon product, or donate your time to this worthy cause. For more information on how you can get involved, visit www.komen.org. In addition, you can always reach out to my office for more resources or information. Together, we can take a stand against breast cancer.


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