Walking to Honor Breast Cancer Survivors and to Bring Awareness

Bernice Williams, Community Activist and Member Dem State Committee 86 AD with The Go Girls

Bernice Williams, Community Activist and Member Dem State Committee 86 AD with The Go Girls

This past Sunday, thousands of Bronxites turned out to march at Orchard beach to call for awareness of breast cancer, to honor survivors and and to join in preventing this often fatal cancer in men and in women. On a rather chilly day with beautiful blue skies above, Bronxites from all communities and backgrounds joined together in a long line of pink to walk the length of the beach boardwalk. The purpose of this walk is done to make all aware of breast cancer and to show unity in fighting this often deadly type of cancer.

One of the Bronx Heath Care organizations marching was the North Bronx Health Network.

Before starting the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said, “The spirit of showing support is shining bright here at Orchard Beach. Each year we see the crowd growing in numbers for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and this year with over 12,000 people from all over coming together, it is a very emotional time.” He continued with, “I encourage everyone, both men and women, to raise awareness of breast cancer by talking with family members and friends about the importance of screening and early detection.”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2015 are:

  • About 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 60,290 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 40,290 women will die if from breast cancer.

After increasing for more than two decades, female breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing in 2000, then dropped by about 7% from 2002 to 2003. This large decrease was thought to be due to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause that occurred after the results of the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. This study linked the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases. In recent years, incidence rates have been stable in white women, but have increased slightly in African American women.

Michael Singer, a breast cancer survivor with John Marano

Michael Singer, a breast cancer survivor with John Marano

Community Board 10 member, John Marano marched with his friend Michael Singer, a breast cancer survivor. Michael is one of the founders of Men Have Breasts Too.

Although breast cancer occurs mainly in women, men can and do get it. Many people do not realize that men have breast tissue that can develop breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that breast cancer in men in the United States for 2015 are:

  • About 2,350 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed.
  • About 440 men will die from breast cancer.

Photo courtesy of Bharati Kemraj

However, breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women and for men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years. Regardless, look for possible signs of breast cancer and see your doctor.

Those elected officials who were seen participating and marching included NYS Senator Gustavo Rivera, NYS Assembly Members Mark Gjonaj, Michael Benedetto and Jose Rivera, NYC Council Member Vanessa Gibson, and Democratic State Committee Member Bernice Williams.

There was also a special Bollywood performance by Bharati Kemraj and Ravi Singh.

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