Written by: Julie McMahon, Komen Columbus Director of Mission
Komen Columbus celebrates the 127,000 breast cancer survivors in Ohio daily, but on Sunday, June 2 we want to give them special mention by celebrating National Cancer Survivor’s Day.
Over the past few days on our Facebook page, we have highlighted some of the historical breakthroughs that have helped us get this far in the fight against breast cancer. Many of the treatments discovered in the past three decades have helped to increase the number of living breast cancer survivors. Many of those discoveries were funded by your donations to Komen Columbus through our investment in research. Globally, Komen has invested $755 million in research to date, and has been a part of every major breast cancer breakthrough, including groundbreaking treatments and the discovery of the breast cancer gene.
We’ve come a long way. You’ve come a long way.
Current research is investigating environmental factors that contribute to breast cancer risk and identifying prevention strategies, including: lifestyle factors like exercise and obesity, vaccines, already approved drugs such as ibuprofen, and dietary approaches like fish oil and flaxseeds that could potentially play preventive roles. Research and development of new screening technologies like blood tests, continues and will enhance earlier and more accurate detection. Komen-funded researchers are developing and testing personalized strategies that target each woman’s unique tumor, identifying new drugs and combinations for aggressive and drug resistant cancers through clinical trials.
There are almost three million breast cancer survivors in the United States today (more than any other group of cancer survivors). While it’s tragic so many people received a breast cancer diagnosis, the sheer number of survivors shows the great strides that have been made in early detection and treatment. Today, most breast cancer survivors lead long and fulfilling lives. You can learn more about various survivorship topics, including lymphedema, recurrence, fertility, fatigue and re-screening by clicking here.
As survivors and their families have battled, we also battle on, as Susan G. Komen supporters and advocates lead the way to close gaps in healthcare access, bring screening and awareness to those without, discover better screening tools, find treatments for the kinds of cancer resistant to current drugs, and eventually, discover a cure. Along the way, we honor all those who braved this fight during the centuries before us as we attempt to eliminate breast cancer in the future.