Awareness, education vital to breast cancer detection
As the Executive Director of Breast Cancer Network of Strength Illinois, formerly Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, Illinois Affiliate, I would like to thank the Daily Herald for their great work in raising breast cancer awareness year after year during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
We appreciate their partnership in educating the community about this disease that strikes over 180,000 women in the U.S. annually, and more than 7,000 here in Illinois.
The stark reality of breast cancer is that, excluding skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U. S. women, and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. Breast cancer does not discriminate! It crosses all cultures, races, religions, and economic status.
Therefore, awareness, information and education are vital!
While Breast Cancer Network of Strength has changed its name, it has not changed its mission, to ensure, through information, empowerment and peer support, that no one faces breast cancer alone. We provide immediate emotional relief to anyone affected by breast cancer. All our services are provided free of charge. Our purpose is to decrease the impact of breast cancer and to create and increase breast cancer awareness in all communities.
For 30 years, Network of Strength has been there for the women who cannot wait for tomorrow's cure. We would not be successful in our mission without the support of our volunteers and the generous financial support provided through individual donations, corporate sponsorship, grants and special events so that we can continue to provide all of our services free of charge.
Please take the time to read the stories in this edition that highlight our wonderful support services such as YourShoes, our award-winning "Just for Teens" education program, our minority outreach, and the expansion of our Wig and Prosthesis Salon as a mobile service, bringing our resources into local communities. There are also wonderful, inspiring stories from survivors, and supporters of survivors that deserve your attention.
I hope that I see the day when Network of Strength can put itself out of business. However, until there is a cure for breast cancer, we will be there for anyone who needs our support; the newly diagnosed, the person who has a metastasis, the one trying to support a loved one - anyone affected by breast cancer.
Early detection saves lives - that is why our education programs are so important. Please be proactive about your health. Every woman 40 years of age or older should have a yearly mammogram. If you are uninsured or under insured, and cannot afford a mammogram, call our office.
We help to provide free mammograms to women through agencies with which we partner. Also, monthly breast self-exams are extremely important. They are free, take only 15-20 minutes and can save your life. No one knows your body better than you!
Early detection is the best defense against this disease.
Lastly, call us - we are there for you, your family, your friends, your co-workers.