October is national breast cancer awareness month, and Girls Night Out Altoona held its 15th annual fundraising event on Wednesday.
Girls Night Out Altoona is an organization that aims to educate people about breast cancer, emphasize the value of early detection as well as encourage those affected to receive proper treatment.
This year was their 15th annual Girl’s Night Out event with over a thousand people showing up to bring awareness to the disease and raise money for research and treatment. To date the organization raised over 1.3 million dollars.
“We try to make sure that people are reminded, go get your mammograms, Self-detection is probably the biggest thing, being your own health advocate and just being there for other people.”
We also spoke with one of the volunteers from the organization about why it’s important to raise awareness.
“Twenty years ago, I found my first lump when I was in high school, It was not cancer, thank goodness, I was only seventeen years old, but it really brought awareness for me about how important it is to do those monthly self-checks and just how incredibly expensive and tiresome dealing with cancer can be.”
According to the CDC 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with a form of breast cancer at some point in their lifetimes. This makes the prevalence of the disease very high with about 240,000 cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. Self-checks are one of the easiest methods of detection that a person can do at home. Meghan Reilly was diagnosed with a rare type of stage 4 breast cancer in 2017 at 33 years old. Against all odds she beat the disease and now shares her story with others.
“If we can educate women about early detection, about what to look for, we should not lose anyone to breast cancer, I just hope to bring awareness that cancer does not discriminate between age, or gender, or race. Everyone is vulnerable, but the faster that you can catch it, the better your odds are of survival.”
For more information on Girls Night out Altoona visit their website.