I am not a doctor, nor do I play one in the newspaper. But nevertheless, I would like to remind you of the importance that the month of October has each year in the medical community.

October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” a month centered on increasing acknowledgement and understanding of a disease that affects one in eight women during their lifetimes. In fact, besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common diagnosed cancer among women, according to breastcancer.org, a non-profit organization that provides information about the issue.

Fortunately, as time goes by, people are becoming increasingly aware of the options that are available to prevent the disease and limit its effects. Everyone knows about the importance of early detection and prevention, but it is worth repeating. Having regular screenings and mammograms is the best known way of spotting cancer and subsequently treating it.

Having a solid support structure is also important. Family and friends play a huge role in providing moral support and encouragement, helping patients conquer their disease. Overcoming breast cancer is never an easy process, but knowing you have the support of those around you can go a long way.

Because it is so common, the odds are high that we all know or have known someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Statistics indicate that about 200,000 women will be diagnosed this year. If you or a loved one is currently fighting the disease, it is important to know you are not alone.

There are breast cancer support groups all over Ohio that specialize in offering assistance, advice and encouragement during a time when it is needed most. The fact that there were 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States last year goes to show how common it is among women, but it also shows that with proper treatment, knowledge and support, it can be overcome.


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