Breast Cancer Relief International

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Volunteering Your Help for Breast Cancer

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Have you ever thought about volunteering your time to help out the Breast Cancer society? Many people actually do this on a regular basis and some go to great extremes.

Just the other day we came across and article about a man who has decided to go for a month without spending any money in order to help support the breast cancer cause.

You can read this amazing story here:

The story says that Kevin Zarlengo, who is 28, is planning to spend the month of May by spending no money at all. Of course he will still have to pay his bills. But he doesn’t intend to spend any money on sundries such as food or going out to restaurants or paying for gas.

All of the money that he saves will be donated to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer which happens on May 31 and June 1 of this year.

In order to feed himself he is planning on offering his services to friends and family. In return all he will ask for is a meal. Kevin’s end goal is to hopefully raise $1,800 for the cause.

Another article that we came across is centered around Medicare and Breast cancer. While Medicare does provide women with a rebate for having mammograms, for example. The amount of the rebate is totally out dated and has not been linked to inflation for many, many years. At least this is true in the United States but not in other countries.

Kerri-Anne Kennerly is leading the way on this topic for the Breast Cancer Network Australia. She personally has been touched by breast cancer. Two years ago after undergoing a mammogram a lump was found. When she went for a pre-operative MRI a second lump was discovered.

In Australia the cost of a breast MRI is around $555 and is not something that every woman can afford. Then on top of this there are all the other costs associated with going through treatment.

Kerri-Anne is hoping that as of 2014 Australian women will at last start receiving some type of rebate for breast mammograms and MRI’s. You can read the complete story at the following link.

These are two different types of story. In the first Kevin is working to raise money for Breast cancer, while in the second Kerri-Anne is fighting for woman’s rights. Both are just as important as each other.

If you have thought about volunteering in some way why not make this year the time to start. There will be plenty of breast cancer walks and runs happening around the country beginning next month. Why not find one near you and see how you can help out.


Spring Brings Cancer Month

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daffsWith the arrival of Spring comes the national campaign for cancer. You will no doubt see may people out selling wonderful daffodils over the next few weeks. Every small donation can really help make a huge difference to those suffering with any form of cancer.

April is known worldwide as Daffodil month and the week of April 6 to 12 is National Volunteer Week. This is the week when all the volunteers are out in your local communities helping to sell daffodils. They may do this by going door to door, or they may set up a table at your local grocery store.

This is a great time to raise money. Many people have just endured a long, cold winter and the first signs of spring are welcome. For many, the sight of a daffodil is a welcome reminder that a new season has finally arrived.

This makes people feel in a generous and will happily purchase a bunch of daffodils to brighten up their homes. Plus, of course, the wonderful fragrance of daffodils is inviting too.

While Spring is a busy time for the Cancer society they are busy fund raising all year round. They have special months, weeks and days set aside to help bring awareness to many forms of cancer.

For example March is nutrition month, where they spend time educating people on how eating correctly can help reduce your risks of cancer. November focuses on Lung and Pancreatic Cancers. While the first week of June focuses on Sun Awareness. Who doesn’t love to get outside and enjoy the sun, but instances of skin cancer are on the increase. Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from this potentially deadly form of cancer.

By educating yourself on cancer you will know what to look for when it comes to early warning signs. Plus you will learn ways to reduce your chances of developing cancer just by improving your lifestyle. This includes getting more exercise, staying mobile and eating more healthy foods and fewer pre-packaged and fast foods.

So this Spring when you are out shopping, look for those wonderful volunteers who are selling daffodils. Why not stop and purchase a bunch to take home. Reflect on those you have known who have dealt with cancer. If you are currently cancer free be truly grateful for what you have in life, you never know how quickly life can change.



Breast Cancer News Caused Controversy

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Anyone that has undergone breast cancer or has known  someone who has dealt with this understands that it can be a delicate topic. Recently in the news an article was published which showed scars that an Israeli woman had received due to breast cancer. Unfortunately this news article spurred a lot of attention in the media, some of which wasn’t favorable at all.

Even a well know journalist who has dealt with breast cancer found the image to be un-nerving. This is what Xeni Jardin had to say about her feelings on this.

“It’s a provocative, powerful photo & there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Or the taboo it breaks in exposing areola. Complicated feels.”

 Xeni Jardin (@xeni) 27 Nov 13

A New York Times editor was involved in the original decision to do this photo shoot and her intention was to bring awareness to breast cancer issues. New York Times picture editor, Soo-Jeong Kang, gave this statement from the un-named young woman. You can see the original version here.

When I first saw the photo I did not find it either provocative or inappropriate. I thought it was powerful and told my story – I am a proud, young Jewish woman who had breast cancer, and I have a scar that proves it.
I am not ashamed or embarrassed by the scar. Most of my breast was not exposed and the small part that was does not make the picture “cheap.” I think it’s very artistic.

I didn’t expect such controversy around the photo – but I’m glad the photo caused an impact since I believe that there should be more awareness about breast cancer, genetic testing, the conflict of “what to do” with a positive result, etc.

I agreed to publish the photo since I wanted to raise awareness, but I decided to leave my identity unknown because I didn’t want to become famous because I had cancer. The cancer I fought this past year is a part of me, but it’s not who I am. It’s not me. In addition, this photo was taken spontaneously and I didn’t consult my close family beforehand, so I preferred to stay unknown.

In response to some readers’ comment on the tattoo I have on my body, I come from a family of Holocaust survivors. When I was 17, I went with my high school on a trip to the concentration camps in Poland. It was a very emotional and difficult trip, and when I returned to Israel I was so proud that I am Jewish and Israeli that I wanted the whole world to know. I will never have to hide my religion or where I come from. That’s when I made the tattoo of the Star of David. It was 10 years before my diagnosis of breast cancer.

We are sure that anyone who has survived breast cancer can relate to these words. While no-one attempts to spur controversy it does help that it bought attention to the delicate subject of breast cancer.


Recap of Breast Awareness Month

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As you know October was officially Breast Awareness Month. We just wanted to do a quick recap of some of the fund raising events which took place. This way you can get a good idea of how many people care about this cause and the money which was raised. Of course fund raising doesn’t stop after October ends and any breast cancer purchase will still go towards researching and finding a cure for this deadly cancer.

One fund raising event that we wanted to bring to your attention is a Canadian event. If you read that article a huge fact becomes very clear and as it states:

“Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s positivity makes it easy to overlook the fact that 60 to 70 per cent of chemotherapy treatments fail,” says Dr. Gregory Czarnota, chief of Radiation Oncology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and co-inventor of WaveCheck with Professor Michael C. Kolios of Ryerson University. “WaveCheck’s technology can tell people with breast cancer and their doctors if a particular chemotherapy is working in as little as four weeks.”

The company Wavecheck is among the top 10 Canadian companies raising funds and awareness for Breast Cancer. Their fund raising efforts are done by making people aware and by using Crowd Funding there are no actual products involved. Instead 100% of the money goes towards research.

This allows people to put their money into forms of treatment that have the best success rates.

Another active company was VP Racing Fuels. They managed to double their fund raising efforts by producing a pink VP Motor Sports Container. Proceeds are donated throughout the entire year to breast cancer. The pink containers were introduced in Sept 2012 and have helped sales and funding respectively.

You can read more about their efforts and see their Pink sports container here.

It is amazing how many organizations and individuals get involved with raising funds for Breast Cancer. Of course this type of cancer has touched at least one person you know and this is why awareness is high, not just for this particular type of cancer but all cancers in general.

Another article we stumbled upon recently was one where the issue of young girls developing their breasts earlier could be a cause for concern. This was particularly noticeable in the United States and early development tied in with location, diet and exercise habits.

The trend is that girls as young as nine years old are beginning to develop breasts. While menstruation for these girls did not start this early, about two to four years later in most girls. The concern is that as soon as a young girl develops breasts she produces more estrogen. Combine this with the additional years and it could signal more chances of developing breast cancer. At this time this is mere speculation and additional research must be performed. But it is an issue which should be kept in mind.



People Who Are Helping the Cause

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we wanted to highlight people who are helping to bring awareness to this wonderful cause.

Cleaning for a Reason

It is a sad fact that over 800,000 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2013 alone. Cleaning for a Reason is a company which has decided to help those women affected with this disease and who cannot afford to have their homes cleaned.

Debbie Sardone started this cause and is now being helped from Swiffer and Walmart, as she states below.

“I started this organization when a woman told me she couldn’t afford to have her house cleaned because of her medical bills,” said Debbie Sardone, founder of Cleaning for a Reason. “It’s women, undergoing the physical, emotional and financial rigors of cancer treatment, who need professional housecleaning services the most and we are so grateful to Swiffer and Walmart for helping expand our reach.”

Awareness is being created by using Pink Swiffers, Wet Jets and Dusters. There are currently 1,000 maids who are offering this service in the U.S. and Canada. Anyone who is interested in volunteering their time can sign up on the Cleaning for a Reason site.

Pink Taxi is another company that is helping raise awareness this month. This taxi company operates out of the town of Bellville, Ontario and are planning on having a pink cab running 24/7.

Cancer Society spokesperson, Matthew del Grosso, says there is a donation box in the cab for toonies and envelopes if you want to make a larger donation and get a receipt.

Even famous people are getting involved with promoting Breast Awareness month. Elizabeth Hurley has been he face Estée Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign since 1995.

JCPenney is launching their own campaign as well this month. They are inviting all of their customers to round up their purchases and donate the money to the The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF) from Oct 4 to 14.

“Breast cancer is an issue that touches nearly everyone – we all know someone who has been affected by this disease,” said Miki Woodard, jcp cares president and vice president of philanthropy at JCPenney. “As customers stock up on their fall essentials this October, we’re inviting them to join us in our support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By simply rounding up their purchases or buying a pair of boots, our customers will be aiding in research and prevention efforts, which are critical initiatives in the fight against breast cancer.”

Other ways to get involved this month include wearing or displaying Pink whenever possible. The following is an excerpt from a recent press release.

“I am proud that WWE’s partnership with Komen has expanded to include all WWE Superstars and Divas,” said WWE Superstar John Cena. “WWE’s global platforms combined with the full force of our roster will bring critical awareness for this devastating disease.”

Susan G. Komen and WWE have a history of success in raising awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Last year, the WWE Universe raised $1 million for Komen during its month-long breast cancer awareness campaign. In addition, WWE has supported Komen through its “Make Mom Proud” campaign as well as participation in Race for the Cure® events throughout local communities.

Visit the following page to make a donation for Breast Awareness Month 2013


Gearing Up for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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While the official breast cancer awareness month is October there are many events going on in September. This is a great time to hold fund raising events such as walks and Avon is one company that is doing just this.

These walks are held in various places all around the country and one was held in Santa Barbara, CA just this past weekend. Hundreds of people take part in these events for a variety of reasons. It may be that they are honoring someone they loved who did not survive their encounter with breast cancer.

You can see a full list of cities that are holding Avon Walks here: The Avon Walk covers 39 miles over the course of a weekend and was started in 2003. While a high majority of walkers are women many men do participate in them as well.

Or they may indeed be survivors and are so grateful for a second chance at life that this is their way of giving back and helping others fight breast cancer.

In order to participate in the Avon walk you have to commit to raising a certain amount of money. This type of commitment may not suit you but you still have lots of other options to share in breast cancer awareness month. There is a website set up at: where you can find many different ways to use your support. Visit this site to get all the links for the agencies listed below.

This is just a short list of some of the agencies involved in raising awareness for Breast Cancer currently includes:

  • American Cancer Society
  • Astra Zeneca Healthcare Foundation
  • Men Against Breast Cancer
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • National Cancer Institute

Even sports teams get involved with raising awareness and funds for breast cancer. One team is the Oakland A’s who managed to raise $61,395 on their annual breast cancer awareness day. The Oakland A’s have been raising money for this cause since 1999 to now more than $1.3 million.

If you would like to get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness month check your local community for events. You may be able to help raise funds or you might just want to be a volunteer in some way. There are so many ways you can raise awareness for breast cancer besides just raising funds.

Your local newspaper, website or phone directory can help you locate groups and organizations that are helping raise awareness. Take the first step by contacting them and see what they have planned for next month.


Blood Pressure and the Link to Breast Cancer

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It has recently been discovered that there could be a link between using blood pressure medications and breast cancer. Research was recently published by the Internal Medicine Archives at . In a period of over 10 years it was noted that women who took certain blood pressure treatments were more susceptible to developing breast cancer.

This research was linked to a particular blood pressure treatment, ones that contained calcium channel blockers. The higher risk indication was 2.5 times higher than women who took no blood pressure treatment or used other forms of treatment.

It is also accepted that more detailed research needs to be done on these first findings. What is important to note is that this was the first research to produce this type of evidence linking blood pressure treatments to an increased risk of breast cancer.

In 2010 more than 98 million prescriptions were filled for calcium channel blockers and sales for this type of drug reaching to over $1.35 billion dollars. Blood pressure medication is just about the most commonly prescribed prescription in the U.S.

This recent study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and at this time it is still unclear why calcium channel blockers are posing this type of risk.

While this report is not meant to scare anyone or attempt to persuade them to stop using blood pressure medication it does highlight a possible risk. It is important to note that these risks were also associated with older women. These results are based on a study of 1,980 women who had breast cancer and just over 800 that had no signs of breast cancer.

If you currently have high blood pressure you should look for other ways to help this problem. Losing weight, eating healthier and exercising more are the best places to start. Even losing as little as 10 pounds can make a huge difference to your blood pressure. Of course, reducing your stress level will also improve matters.

When it comes to taking medications always get the advice of your doctor. Many doctors or health practitioners are happy to work with you to find natural alternatives whenever possible. Do as much research as possible on your medical issue and see if something as simple as making a healthy lifestyle change will benefit you.

Try to start living a stress free life with lots of fresh air and exercise so that you can avoid as many medical and health related issues as possible.


Understanding Breast Cancer

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While many websites and blogs are dedicated to raising funds and awareness of breast cancer, it is important to understand what breast cancer is. This disease affects millions of people worldwide and it affects both men and women.

Breast cancer begins in the cells of the breast and becomes a malignant tumor.  While the cancer does start in the breast cells it can then invade other areas of the body, this process is known as metastasizing.

The female breast consists of milk producing glands known as lobules, ducts which carry the milk and stroma. Stroma is made up of fatty tissue and connective tissue which surrounds the lobules, ducts, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels.

It is the lymphatic system which can cause the cancer to spread. Lymph nodes are small bean shaped cells that make up the immune system cells. These are connected by lymphatic vessels. These small vessels resemble veins and their job is to carry clear fluid, lymph, away from the breast.

The majority of lymphatic vessels in the breast connect to lymph nodes which are in a woman’s armpit. Lymph nodes are also found inside the chest and just above or below the collarbone.

If the breast cancer has gotten into any of the lymph nodes this could mean that the cancer is now in a woman’s bloodstream. This process is how the breast cancer could possibly spread to other parts of the body.

This is why early detection is so important. If the cancer is found before it spreads into the lymph nodes the chances of recovery are higher and that the treatment will work more effectively.

Not all lumps in the breast are malignant and most are actually benign. Some doctors do like to have any type of lump removed and looked at more closely especially if your family history dictates this.

Many lumps in the breast turn out to have other causes such as fibrosis and cysts. These are changes which occur in the breast tissue as a woman’s age and health changes.

Fibrosis is the development of scars in the tissue while cysts are small sacs filled with fluid. Most women will notice these symptoms as they produce swollen breasts, small lumps and these conditions can be painful and tender. Plus these symptoms may increase in severity just before a woman has her menstrual period.

It is important for women to understand what breast cancer is and what signs to look for. While all women will want to get any lumps or swelling checked out no-one should panic. There are many causes for changes in the breast and breast cancer is only one of them.



Educating Teens on Breast Cancer

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While the rates of breast cancer are decreasing it is widely accepted that early detection is key. This is one reason why many schools are now taking the time to educate teenagers on this subject.

Living a healthy life is important for everyone and knowing what signs to look for in all the major diseases is crucial. Childhood obesity is at an all time high and this can lead to children developing diabetes, heart problems and even some forms of cancer.

Educating teens while they are still in school on all aspects of their health is one way to help reduce the rates of cancer even further. While breast cancer is normally associated with women the instances of men with breast cancer is also high.

Many communities have programs in place to help educate teens on breast cancer in particular. One in Canada is the Pink Tulip Foundation. Their goal is to educate teens and make them aware of the risks of this disease. In addition they get them involved in various fund raising activities.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2013 232,340 new cases of breast cancer will be reported and sadly about 39,620 women will die from the disease.

While breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in women there are also 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone.

Breast cancer awareness is in part responsible for the decline in the disease. Rates have dropped significantly since 2000. This was also the year when a report was published on hormone therapy and menopausal women. A study was released that linked hormone therapy to increased risks of breast cancer. Many women decided to stop using this method and numbers have declined ever since.

With these findings it only makes sense to educate teenagers on the disease. This way they know what to look for and where to go for advice and treatment if necessary. Plus making them aware of their health leads them into a healthier lifestyle overall.

Children follow the habits of their friends and family, as adults and parents it is our responsibility to teach them good habits in the first place. Teachers are wonderful for this and many teens respond well to their teacher at school. It is great to see these actions being taken and hopefully this will lead to further decreases in the statistics.

Education begins at home and children are never too young to begin learning how to take care of themselves.


Pink is for Breast Cancer

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As you have no doubt noticed the color pink is associated with breast cancer awareness and fund raising efforts.  The pink ribbon has been used to show support for women with breast cancer and is used to honor anyone who has been diagnosed with the disease and to identify related breast products. Many woman and men support this cause worldwide today and even young children can be seen wearing the pink ribbon symbol.

Many people associate this pink ribbon as a sign of generosity and faith that a cure for breast cancer will eventually be found. Many organizations actively sell products with all the proceeds being donated towards raising funds for the cause. Avon is a worldwide example of this.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and this is when many fund raising events take place all around the world. In Canada they have the Run for the Cure every October. In Australia a Pink Ribbon Breakfast is held and put on by Cancer Australia. This monthly awareness tradition has been in place for 25 years now and helps to raise funds for Breast Cancer.

Due to increased public awareness for all cancers including breast cancer there are even support groups which have been set up by men. While woman have the highest chances of developing breast cancer the number of men suffering from this is on the rise too. As well these support groups help to raise funds for both men and woman. 

The good news today is that there is help for anyone having to deal with breast cancer. Many people describe it as a journey and you can pick up brochures and information at any of the major breast cancer websites today. Don’t forget your doctor and local hospital will have a wealth of information and resources on this subject. You are not alone and support and help is available, just ask.

If you would like to support breast cancer in any way you only have to look for pink products in stores and advertised in magazines and online. Each dollar that you spend will be donated to this cancer program and will be used in various forms including: research on breast cancer, helping woman get the treatment they need and in providing mammograms to help diagnose breast cancer early.