Unit Participates in Breast Cancer Awareness, Fundraising

  • Published
  • By Capt. Andrew Schmidt
  • 167th Airlift Wing
Breast cancer is a disease that affects us all - if not personally, then through our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. As October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the unit has been participating in a variety of fundraising and awareness activities to recognize this important time.

On Friday October 3, the unit participated in the "Lee National Denim Day." Base personnel could donate $5 and wear jeans to work in place of their uniform. Money raised in this event, a total of $505, will now be donated to fund breast cancer research and to spread awareness about the disease.

During October's UTA, a six-person team participated in the three-day Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, D.C. The event also took place in eight other cities. The team walked 20 miles a day for three days to support the fight. With more than 3,500 participants, a total of $8.1 million was raised at the Washington, D.C. event alone.

These activities are even more timely considering the fight against breast cancer by Maj. Kandi McCullough, who was diagnosed March 5, 2008. Maj. McCullough joined the 167th Airlift Wing in 2004 after flying C-130s for the Texas Air National Guard. She had just given birth to her second child in December 2007 when she discovered she had breast cancer. Maj. Marty Timko, also a pilot with the 167th Airlift Wing, designed a morale patch that superimposes the breast cancer awareness ribbon over a C-5 aircraft in support of his fellow flyer. Sales of the patch were donated the Susan G. Komen Foundation. More than $800 was raised after the first month alone.

Breast cancer Facts
Research shows that certain factors increase a woman's chance of getting breast cancer, including the following:
· A family history of cancer
· Defects in one of two inherited genes
· Early onset of menstruation or late onset of menopause
· Never experiencing childbirth and use of hormones
Breast cancer can't be ignored:
· An estimated 250,230 new cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the U.S. during 2008; about 1,990 new cases are expected in men
· Approximately 40,460 women and 450 men will die from breast cancer in 2008
· Only five to 10 percent of breast cancers are due to heredity
· More than 2 million women in the U.S. are living as breast cancer survivors
· While white women in the U.S. have a higher incidence of breast cancer, African Americans have a higher death rate from breast cancer
You can fight back:
· If you are 50 or older you should have a yearly mammogram and a clinical breast exam
· If you are under the age of 40 with a family history of breast cancer, you should discuss risk and screening with your doctor
· If you are age 40-49, you should have a screening mammogram every 1-2 years, depending on your individual level of risk
· If any change occurs in your breast, such as redness, pain, swelling or discharge, visit your doctor
· Be aware that certain combinations of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and high alcohol intake can increase the risk of breast cancer.