October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month which marks an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness about the impact of breast cancer. One of the major goals of this awareness month is ensuring all women have access to mammograms and breast cancer screenings which can lead to early detection, as well as ensuring everyone has access to support systems.
According to the CDC, there are roughly 260,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women each year. The American Cancer Society states that breast cancer affects 1 in 3 American women, and it is the second most common cancer for women in the nation, behind skin cancer, meaning the risk of breast cancer is unfortunately rather high. It is most common in middle-aged women, with the median age for breast cancer diagnosis being 62, which is why understanding risk factors, family history, performing self-exams and scheduling regular screening are some of the best ways to spot the signs early.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month also focuses on educating individuals and loved ones about treatment options, health care providers, and everything that comes along with breast cancer treatment.
Pacifica Senior Living has long been a proud supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness events, and we have been working alongside local foundations to fundraise and host events in support of Breast Cancer research and treatment support.
Some of the community events we have this month include a Pretty in Pink Cancer Awareness Happy Hour, hosted by Pacifica Senior Living Menifee. This event included live entertainment, food, friends, and lots of fun, as residents, community neighbors and loved ones gathered in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
Pacific Senior Living Skylyn will host a Chili Cook Off on October 22nd in partnership with the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health & Pathway Hospice. All the proceeds from the event will go directly to a local mother of three who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Skylyn is dedicated to providing support and funds for her and her family as she fights against cancer.
Meridian at Westwood will also host a Breast Cancer Awareness event later this month, called the Think Pink 50’s Social Hour. This 50’s themed pink party is all about celebrating survivors and raising awareness for Breast Cancer.
There are approximately 3.8 million breast cancer survivors currently living in the United States. There are amazing stories of resilience and strength within our Senior Living Communities, too. Breast cancer touches so many lives, whether it is directly or indirectly, and shedding a light on the stories of those affected is a big part of how Pacifica is raising awareness and coming alongside local Breast Cancer programs.
Argentina is a Breast Cancer Survivor who lives at Pacifica Senior Living Mission Villa. Many years ago, Argentina was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and we reached out to her and her family to tell us a bit about her experience about living through the difficult battle, and coming out triumphant on the other side. Her daughter, Rosa, was kind enough to share her thoughts about her mother’s experience:
When were you diagnosed, and at what age?
My mom was diagnosed in her early 50’s, but she thankfully never had to follow up with chemo/chemotherapy.
How has your outlook on life changed since battling and defeating cancer?
It’s just another way to look at life, and to be positive is important.
What helped you through your treatment process?
Having family members rally nearby my mom really helped. All 6 of us siblings were there for her. Having that support and good healthcare was key. Honestly, nothing beats having family by your side.
Do you have any tips or advice for those currently battling cancer or for family members or loved ones of those battling cancer?
You live with them. Again, it’s just another way to look at life, and it’s really important to keep going no matter what.
While battling cancer is a truly difficult thing both for the individual and their loved ones, stories like Argentina’s of resilience, triumph and support are great reminders of the importance of supporting one another through difficult times. Reach out to your local community to see how they are getting involved in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or join one of our many fundraiser events. You can also donate directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, or find support and resources to help you or a loved one who may have been recently diagnosed. Together, we are stronger.