October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to celebrate and remember all the lives that have been affected by this disease. As a breast cancer survivor, this is a deeply personal month to my family and me.
Wasserman Schultz Statement on Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pembroke Pines, FL – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement to mark October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
“October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to celebrate and remember all the lives that have been affected by this disease. As a breast cancer survivor, this is a deeply personal month to my family and me.
“I was only 41 when the doctors gave me the news. I was overcome with so many questions – how would I tell my children? Will I be able to beat this disease? Wasn’t I too young for this disease? No one can ever be prepared enough to hear the words: ‘you have breast cancer.’
“But what we can do is better prepare women to understand the risks they face. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer death among women – in 2015, 40,290 women were expected to die from it, but many don’t know their own genetic risks.
“Ashkenazi Jewish women like me are five times more likely to have the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genetic mutation. Carriers of the BRCA gene mutations have up to an 85 percent lifetime chance of getting breast cancer. African American women have a higher incidence rate before age 45 than white women, and they are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age range.
“As a survivor and a legislator, I believe that it's my responsibility to share my story and fight to make life-saving resources and information available to combat this disease. It is important that all women have access to preventative services and quality treatment options. We must continue to support and defend the Affordable Care Act so that no woman will ever have to worry about losing their insurance coverage when faced with this life-threatening disease.
“For too many, getting sick is something you don’t think about until it happens. But National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the time to think about it. It’s the time to not only honor the survivors and all those who have lost their lives, but to educate women and supporters on this fight against cancer and early detection, which is the key to survival.”
Geoff Burgan, Geoff.Burgan@mail.house.gov, 202.225.7931