Breast cancer affects loved ones

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Samantha Huizar, program coordinator for Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure, talks about breast cancer prevention and treatment Monday in Loftin.   Photo by Monica Correa

Samantha Huizar, program coordinator for Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure, talks about breast cancer prevention and treatment Monday in Loftin. Photo by Monica Correa

Almost 2,200 men will get the disease in 2012, according to the Komen foundation.

By NICOLE A. WEST

sac-ranger@alamo.edu 

Nancy G. Brinker made a promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything to end breast cancer, Samantha Huizar, program coordinator for the San Antonio Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, said Monday in Loftin Student Center.

In 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was launched as a global breast cancer movement.

The office of student life invited Huizar to speak on “Join the Promise: Imagine Life Without Breast Cancer.” Six students attended the presentation in the health promotions office.

The San Antonio affiliate started in 1997 with six women who shared a vision for local breast health, Huizar said.

The six women had breast cancer, and only three survived. They were dedicated to the memory of their friend, Karen Wood, who died from breast cancer.

In 1998, San Antonio had its first Komen Race for the Cure, which raised $35,000 for research.

The 15th annual Race for the Cure on May 12 had 24,000 participants including 13,000 survivors and raised more than $1 million, Huizar said. The next local race is April 6.

According to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure San Antonio website, 75 percent of the funds support local nonprofit programs that provide breast cancer screening, treatment and education about the disease.

The remaining 25 percent goes to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure grants program for research and scientific programs around the world.

When someone goes through breast cancer, family and friends go through it as well, Huizar said.

Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without normal control, Huizar said.

“There are 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today,” Huizar said.

In the U.S., about 10 percent of diagnoses are because of inherit gene mutation, yet 85 percent of diagnoses have no family history of breast cancer.

She said women and men should:

• Know your risk by researching family history.

• Get screened. People should ask their doctor which screening tests are right for them.

• Know what is normal to you. People should know how their breasts look to them; any changes should be reported to their doctor.

• Make healthy lifestyle choices,” such as breast feeding, limiting alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight.

One in eight women will have to battle breast cancer, Huizar said.

“Remember, men can get breast cancer, too,” Huizar said.

According to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website, 2,190 new cases of breast cancer will occur in men in 2012 and 410 of those will die.

For more information, visit www.komensanantonio.org.

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