Keeping up the fight

Dear editor:
The end of October marks the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is a time for reflection and hope for those who have had the disease.
There was a time when a breast cancer diagnosis meant certain death. The patient was told to have treatment and hope for the best.
Advances in detection methods, drug therapies, and surgery have changed the prognosis for many women diagnosed with the disease. In fact, many women diagnosed with breast cancer today are given an excellent chance of cancer-free survival.
These women are working, studying, exercising, dragon-boating, and enjoying life. They are empowered by their experiences and living life to the fullest.
Other women, with more advanced breast cancer, also are enjoying life. They are receiving therapies that improve constantly. They, too, are given hope for long-term survival.
They are fighters in the truest sense of the word.
In this month of breast cancer awareness, we, the survivors, are reminded of our sisters, friends, mothers, aunts, cousins, and grandmothers who did not win the fight. We think of them, and are thankful that we are winning the battle.
As we raise awareness of breast cancer, we also remind you to think of those touched by the disease. Everyone knows someone who has had it. Look at that woman, see what she is accomplishing in life, and congratulate her for her efforts.
If we can’t eradicate breast cancer, we hope to see an increase in the number of survivors and a decrease in the number of memories. This is possible through early detection and intervention.
There are four breast cancer survivors on the Thunder Bay Breast Health Coalition, and they are striving to ensure that everyone is aware of the risks and early detection techniques. They are testament to the strong will of the survivors.
Tracey Jolicoeur
Thunder Bay, Ont.
(on behalf of the
survivors on the
Thunder Bay Breast
Health Coalition)