As many people across America flash pink shirts, ribbons, and signs in support of breast cancer awareness month this October, the pink reminds us not only to show our support for those fighting and affected by the disease, but also the progress that has been made toward the fight. Supporters tweet about their fashionable pink support for breast cancer awareness month by hash-tagging “#breastcancerawareness” after their tweets of their personal examples of support.
In an article earlier this October, Margaret Hamburg, M.D., stated that four distinct types of breast cancer have now been identified. This information has led to a recent breakthrough in the scientific understanding of breast cancer, such as understanding why one specific medication will show progress in defeating one form of breast cancer but not another. These findings are due majorly to a federal project called the Cancer Genome Atlas, where new findings of treatments for breast cancer are becoming a more likely possibility.
Supporters are not the only ones that are publicizing their support through tweets on twitter, as the FDA has also joined twitter through tweeting their own support of breast cancer awareness month.
Outside of the Cancer Genome Atlas, much more work by the government, scholars and researchers, and pharmaceutical and patient groups help aid in the support that continues to grow through the very pink month of October. Each of these groups are working toward making breast cancer a curable disease at most and a very treatable disease at least.
Pharmaceutical groups have flashed their support and most recent discoveries about breast cancer, not only through tweets, but also on their Facebook pages and company websites, this month.
In the last two years, FDA has approved three drugs to the 16 previously approved treatments for late-stage breast cancer and approved two new, very innovative and professional, tools for screening and detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages. These new tools have allowed discovering breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages to prevent the deaths of many people who discover breast cancer too late.
A new three-dimensional X-ray device is among the new tools to aid doctors in finding the earliest stages of breast cancer possible to then allow the patients the option for the most effective form of early stage treatment. Also, the first ultrasound device that can be used together with standard mammography has been approved to check dense, harder to check, breasts for early signs of cancer.
Not only do pink shirt-ed supporters and pharmaceuticals aid support for the cure of breast cancer, but patients are a key component to the cure as well. By participating in research, patients allow doctors to carefully and specifically analyze their disease, which is the backbone for making specific advancements in breast cancer cures. By volunteering to be evaluated for research, patients also allow doctors to assess what levels of risk patients are willing to endure to gain access to potentially beneficial drugs.
During the past two decades, many progress has been made, not only in the month of October, but all year round, in the fight for the cure of breast cancer. So supporters, keep wearing that pink, doctors keep researching, patients keep volunteering for research, pharmaceuticals keep developing new beneficial drugs, and fighters keep fighting; all for the cure.