Friday, October 01, 2004
Welcome October
The month of October has always been one of my favorite months. The crisp autumn breeze begins to chill the air, the leaves begin to fall, the World Series is right around the corner and we begin to look forward to special holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. To me it has always sparked the beginning of "family season."

October takes on an even more important presence in my life this year. October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer effects so many people (and those who love them). More than 215,990 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Unfortunately, an estimated 40,110 will die from breast cancer this year (source: Komen Foundation). By raising awareness, supporting research efforts, and taking personal responsibility for early detection (either for ourselves or those whom we love), we can make significant strides in finding a cure for this disease. It is amazing how far we have come with treating breast cancer. Between 1990 and 2000, the mortality rate for breast cancer decreased by 2.3 percent each year. The survival rate is now 87 percent five years after diagnosis. And with early diagnosis (like mine) the survival rate can jump to 95 percent!

For those faithful blog readers, you've had the opportunity to read a lot of the research I have collected in the past few months. How much do you really know? Why not test your knowledge? Follow this link to How Much Do You Know About Breast Cancer? It is a quick ten question quiz sponsored by the makers of Taxol, my current chemo drug. Don't worry, taking the quiz will not give you hot flashes, night sweats, or aches in your muscles and joints (lucky you). (update: link takes you to an iVillage quiz)

So many corporations have joined the fight for the cure. All month long, you can buy many specially marked products ranging from jewelry to coffee to M&M's and a donation will be made in support of breast cancer awareness. You can make a difference without even doing anything out of the norm. How much easier can it be? But you can also make quite a significant difference if you schedule your mammogram, conduct a breast self exam, or make sure the women in your life take care of their exams.

Armed with your knowledge of breast cancer, go out and make a difference today.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12