Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Alanis Schoolcraft, Reporter

In October of 1985, American Cancer Society and AstraZeneca became the official sponsors of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every year about 230,000 women and 2,300 men are diagnosed, and every year there are around 400,000 deaths. Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast grow out of control. The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts, the glands that produce milk.  This past week, breast cancer has been in the news, but not for what you would think. Doctors are suggesting that women start getting mammograms at 45 instead at 40 because the risk of a false positive is more common in women under 45.  They’re also saying that women should get the mammograms less often because, even though they save lives, they can be harmful.

There are many organizations to raise awareness, such as Pink-link, which is one our very own Mrs. Stauffer mentioned by name.  Pink-link is a nonprofit organization, and it is a database for survivors, friends, and family.  It was founded by Victoria Tashman in 2005, after one year of being affected by breast cancer.  There is the National Breast Cancer Foundation founded in 1991 by Janelle Hail, who, in 1980, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34.  She wanted to teach women how to detect the cancer earlier, and to provide them with support services.  Locally, we have our Making Strides of Erie, a regional charity walk, which was October 10, but they accept donations until December; they’ve raised $41,377.82 so far.

Speaking of local, our very own high school has their own annual pink out days, created in honor of Mrs. Stauffer.  In 2014, the first pink out, the students and staff raised over $2,000.  Stauffer is doing well these days, she still has check ups every six months.  According to Stauffer, “Cancer teaches you to live and enjoy every moment, which is something that we should all do.”