Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Treatments, Research, and Charity

Anaum Hussain, Staff Writer


 It’s October! Pumpkins, candies, bats, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month! 

     …One of those is not like the others. 

     Breast Cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women. 12.9% of women in the United States of America will develop it at some point in their lives. 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are ages 45 or older, and 43% are ages 65 or above. The risk greatly increases with age. The biggest risk factor is simply being a woman and getting older. (Breast Cancer Risk in American Women – NCI)

     However, there is hope. There have been absolutely massive leaps and bounds in the technology used to detect and treat breast cancer. One of them is 3-D Mammography, a process that takes images of multiple angles around the breast and builds them into a 3-D image. It’s still in the early stages, so it’s not known yet if it’s more effective than the traditional 2-D Mammogram. (Advances in Breast Cancer Research – NCI)

     There’s also been improvements in classification, like whether or not the cancer is positive for hormone receptors (HR) or high levels of the HER2 protein. With knowledge of whether the cancer is HR positive, there can be more targeted treatments and hormone therapies. And HER2 positive cancers can be targeted with special drugs that take them out. 

     There are also triple-negative breast cancers (TRBC), which are the hardest to take out and are usually treated through chemotherapy. However, new treatments are also available for this type of chemotherapy, such as Sacituzumab govitecan-hziy, more commonly known as Trodelvy, or Pembrolizumab, more commonly known as Keytruda. 

     When asked to comment, Senior Alyssa D’Souza said “Wow, that’s great! I’ve had one of those [license plate frames] for breast cancer on my car for like four years now and I donate to the breast cancer foundation, so it’s great that they’re working on treatments.”

     There’s even things happening here at Pines Charter to raise awareness for breast cancer, such as Relay for Life setting up a huge homeroom activity on October 24th, 2022 where students wrote the names of people in their thoughts or inspirational messages on pink sticky notes which will be put up in the U building. “I think it’s a good idea in concept,” said Senior Matthew Castillo. “But in practice, a lot of people just didn’t care. It might have been better if they gave us more time too.” So there were mixed reviews on the project, but at the very least an attempt was made. 

     There’s also many other organizations working for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, including the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

     With all the chaos rushing around October, it’s good to take a moment to remember that it’s not all fun and games. It’s also an important month for all the survivors and fighters who are trying their best to make it to the next day. With new treatments and cures, a future without Breast Cancer could be soon.