As the month of October has ended, and the highly anticipated Homecoming events have passed, it is important to reminisce on the focal point of this past month: breast cancer. All month long, student organizations on campus have held events, donation drives and numerous other ways to support and fund the movement to find a cure for cancer.
Almost every store contains at least one item with the ever-so-famous pink ribbon emblem, signifying that your purchase helps to fund breast cancer research. It’s become something like a commercial holiday, sort of like Christmas, but with a direct purpose.
But where exactly is this money going, and how much money is it going to take to actually find a cure for breast cancer? At first sight of the baby pink ribbon many of us reach deep down into our pockets and give whatever we can afford to give.
Delina Clark, 29, a psychology student from Miami, supports research for all cancers.
“I’m actually about to get a tattoo of the pink ribbon,” Clark said.
Many other students like Clark support and donate to the cause out of generosity despite the fact that they might not even know where the money is going directly.
According to the American Cancer Society, the nonprofit organization responsible for the pink ribbon emblem, the organization has funded about 3.5 billion dollars in cancer research since its start in 1946. The ACS also boasts a total of 17 contributions and discoveries made by scientists who are funded by the organization. Among these contributions is the creation of the mammography, the discovery of certain cancer causing genes, and the lumpectomy radiation for the treatment of breast cancer. However, all of these efforts can’t hide the fact that there is still no cure.
“There is a cure but they’re looking in all the wrong places,” Justin Abney, 20, a general studies student from Detroit, said. “I think the solution can be found in natural cures and remedies.”
The Walker Cancer Research Institute has a special Natural Products Laboratory located in Tallahassee, which is under the direction of Elisa Pilarinou. The mission of the Research Institute is to “find more effective treatments for cancer.”
The institute also affirms that many of the anticancer drugs that are currently on the market are the result of natural product sources. As a result of the continuous destruction of the world’s rainforest’s, many of these “wonder drugs” may never be found.
This year, 207,090 new cases of breast cancer have been found and there have been 39,840 deaths as a result of the cancer. The American Cancer Society asserts that the breast cancer death rate has decreased in the past years, and that there are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. This improvement more than likely stems from the growing amount of advancements within the cancer treatments.
Somehow, optimism still remains strong through the personal testimonies of people who have been affected directly or indirectly from this widespread breast cancer epidemic.
“It’s actually starting to hit home for a lot of people,” Clark said, as she explained why she supported breast cancer Research, despite the fact that it is taking so long to find the cure.
What is for certain is that whether it is hidden in the deep pockets of the rainforest, or in the back pocket of a swindling scientist, millions of people hold onto the lingering hope that one day the cure will be found. Until then, that little pink ribbon will continue to tie together all of our prayers, donations, and support that are constantly being sent out to breast cancer Research.
For more information or to make a donation to breast cancer Research and the American Cancer Society visit www.cancer.org.