Breast Cancer Man: Your Support Matters
So it’s here, once again October fills us with a splash of pink raising awareness on a very important yet sensitive topic for women, Breast Cancer! I am pretty sure you’ve seen the billboards and the awareness campaign by the Jordan Breast Cancer Program and the King Hussein Cancer Center “Menak Inta Gheer”, urging men to encourage the women in their lives to get screened, keeping in mind that Breast Cancer knows no limits and no age, so early screening and detection can go that extra mile.
I remember reading a post in Arabic a few days ago online “http://www.ejjbed.com/viewArticle.php?id=3704&auth_id=1” by Abdulhadi Raji Al Majali on the current Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and I was outraged, I don’t know whether it was the sarcasm in his tone, or the allegations that the funds raised for the King Hussein Cancer Foundation are not being spent properly, is the writer not aware that early detection of cancer means less radiation, less chemo and hence the financial value of treating a patient is not as substantial? For some reason, I read the article over and over and wonder why would someone attack an initiative to raise awareness about breast cancer, if I had anything to say to the King Hussein Cancer Center, I would recommend awareness programs for all types of cancer, prostate cancer is very common among men, so why are they not raising awareness about that, but for the time being, I think what they’re doing is just great.
In 2010 the campaign was titled “E7na Fa7asna…Inti Fa7asti?” which means, we’ve gotten our screening have you? Its mainly women encouraging women to get screened, but as heart working and more sister-like the method is, somewhere deep within me, I think they have cause fireworks with the 2011 campaign, I just find it different.
So in Mr. Majali’s article, he implied that a man’s feelings wouldn’t be so great if his wife/daughter/sister were diagnosed with breast cancer and I stop to think that it shouldn’t be that way. I think that men supporting and encouraging the women in their lives either a mother, a sister or a wife to get an annual breast cancer screening helps by building hope against cancer. An early detection plan significantly increases a woman’s chance in surviving breast cancer, it’s important because:
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
- Over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year
- When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is 98%
If a woman is diagnosed with cancer her man can be the ultimate support in the recovery journey, they can help women in their lives feel good about themselves while being treated for breast cancer. It may depend on the relationship between them thought. Author John W. Anderson of Stand by Her: A Breast Cancer Guide for Men says, it depends on whether it’s a husband-wife, father-daughter, mother-son, or another type of relationship. Husbands can make their wives feel good by bringing her flowers and telling her you think she is as beautiful as the day you met. Her femininity has been challenged in this situation and she needs to know you are there for her. There is no cast-iron way to do this, but tune in to her needs, wants, fears, and insecurities.
I am proud to be living in a country where women’s health is a priority, where educating about breast cancer and raising awareness on early detection is an annual celebration, empowering women and their families with such campaigns will encourage women to get screened and most of all, will make a difference in the long term. I just hope to see more awareness campaigns emerge from the King Hussein Cancer Center, it would be said to go with the “October Breast Cancer Awareness Month” norm cause the whole world is doing it, its time we educate about all kinds of cancers that can affect human king, how to detect them, types of screening and educate about the process that a patient has to go through if their diagnosed with cancer.
Last but not least I am going to end this post with a favorite quote that I would always tell a loved one that is touched with cancer: If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell. – Lance Armstrong
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