Hope for the Cure

Jonesboro (KAIT)- One in eight women are affected by breast cancer.  Before, when women were diagnosed, breast cancer was seen as a death sentence.  However, with advancements in technology, medicine and support resources, women are ready and willing to fight.

It is recommended that once a woman turns eighteen, they should begin the process of doing breast self-exams once a month and physicals once a year.  Early detection is key.

"If the cancer is contained just to the breast, there is a 96% survivial rate,"  Dee Collins, of St. Bernards, explains.  "Before, people thought that it was absolutely, 'I'd better go ahead and think about what the end of my life gonna be.' It's just no that way anymore."

Dee Collins is the team leader for the Pink Warriors.  These warriors will participate in the Race for the Cure in Little Rock on October 17.  Collins was at the Mall at Turtle Creek to help women sign up for this event.

"We're hopling for a Pink Warrior team that's 800 strong for this year's Race for the Cure."

Christine Riley came to the mall to join the team.  Riley is a thirteen-year breast cancer survivor and this race is just one of several she has participated in.  She is actually visting Paragould from Michigan.  Along with three of her friends, one being a survivor as well, she has participated in Cancer Awareness races all across the nation, from Las Vegas to the National Race in D.C.

Riley was diagnosed two days before Christmas and her lump was found with the use of a mammogram.

"It didn't even run in my family, so when I was diagnosed I was in shock."

After recovering, she said she knew she had to inform others and make them aware.

"I just feel it's important to become aware, even at a young age."

Both Collins and Riley couldn't emphasize enough the importance of taking responsibility for your body and being aware of any changes.  They both agree that not  only busy schedules but fear keep women from going to the doctor. what most women may not know, however, is that statistics dealing with breast cancer can offer some hope.

If a lump is detected early and is contained just within the breast, there is a 96% survival rate.  Also,  8 out of 10 persistant breast lumps discovered are actually benign, meaning non-cancerous.  Breast cancer is not contagious and a mammogram does not cause it to spread.  Although uncomfortable, a mammogram is one of the best tools available for early detection.

For even more information on breast cancer and common myths, these websites are just the beginning of useful resources.