By Ilia Laboy
We have all seen the self-exam posters showing us how to check for lumps in the shower but how many of us actually take it seriously? As we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, we are reminded that, outside of skin cancer, this is the most common type of cancer among American women.
What exactly is breast cancer? Breast cancer is when the cells in the breast start growing in an uncontrollable way. Most times these cells form a tumor that can be felt as a lump or seen via x-rays, but not all lumps are malignant and not all tumors can be detected this way. That is where the importance of early screening comes into play. Many cases of breast cancer are found during screening.
Breast cancer rates are down 40% from 1989 to 2016, and since 2007, although death rates in women under 50 have remained rather steady, the death rates among women over 50 have continued to decrease. It’s believed this is due to the advances in research and early screening and detection efforts. Actually, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer sometime in their life, but women are not the only ones affected by this disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 2,670 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed and about 500 men will die of this disease in 2019.
Most of these exams and research are thanks to the donations of millions of Americans through different fundraising efforts, the main event being the Making Strides Against Cancer Walk. This is a noncompetitive 3 to 5-mile walk to help raise money and awareness for the cause. It is a celebration of the warriors who survived breast cancer as well as a way to come together and remember loved ones lost to the fight. The American Cancer Society relies on this walk against breast cancer to not only help raise funds but also have the community come together and support one another through the fight. The recruitment of community leaders brought about the Real Men Wear Pink campaign where men are given a leadership role in the fight and use the power of pink to raise awareness and money for breast cancer initiatives. The nationwide campaign counts on local efforts to be able to make a difference and the Ocala community is not one to stay behind.
The Making Strides walk unites the community behind a common effort to save lives. The residents of Ocala will have their chance to take part in this effort at the Making Strides walk on Saturday, October 19th at the Veterans Memorial Park. Check-in is at 7:30 am and the walk begins at 9:00 am. Local leaders Philip Glassman, publisher of Ocala Magazine, and Josh Leverette of Roberts Funeral of Ocala have come together to form Team Men in Pink and aid in the fight by using the power of pink to fundraise for the cause.
If you would like to join in their efforts please visit
www.realmenwearpinkacs.org/ocalafl to make your donation.
For more information on breast cancer and local fundraising events visit