This October marked the 27th National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and women are not the only ones giving back! Thousands of men around the country are participating in breast cancer awareness events in support of their mothers, sisters, wives, aunts, daughters, and other loved ones.
“I’ve done breast cancer walks for the last two years,” T. Shivers, 31, told me. “And about half of the participants were men.”
I had never really thought about the extent of male interest in the cause, but was surprised by Shivers’ statement. After all, breast cancer strikes women, primarily, and the “faces” of breast cancer awareness are typically female.
“Breast Cancer affects us because it affects the women in our lives,” Shivers said, when he noticed my surprise.
It is, largely, with this sentiment that public interest organization, “Men Against Breast Cancer” or “MABC,” was formed. MABC, founded in 1999, provides “targeted support services that educate and empower men to be effective caregivers when cancer strikes.” Its website describes the organization’s philosophy as “leverage[ing] the support of the whole family to help the patient, with special emphasis on the important role of men in caring for the women they love.”
It is an important role, indeed.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer found in women this year, and about 39,510 deaths. These are frightening numbers. But I am encouraged, inspired, and strengthened to learn about the commitment so many men have made to the cause. And I am quite certain that the 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States share my feeling.
So, on behalf of your mothers, sisters, wives, aunts, and daughters, I say, “thank you” to the MABC and all male supporters of the cause. And I urge you to keep fighting! We need all the fight we can get to conquer this thing.
To learn more about MABC, visit its website at http://www.menagainstbreastcancer.org/.