October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness for detection, treatment, education, and research of breast cancer, as well as programs to support those affected by this disease.
This month, Dr. Anthony Dragun, Chairman and Chief of the Department of Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, is participating in the Real Men Wear Pink initiative of the American Cancer Society. Every day he’ll find a creative way to incorporate pink into his wardrobe and help keep the awareness going. Joining him is Honorary Real Man Dr. Robert A. Somer, Head of the Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology. You can see their photos by clicking here.
According to the American Cancer Society:
- In 2017, more than 252,000 women are expected to be newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the US, and an estimated 40,610 women are expected to die from the disease.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women (excluding skin cancer) and second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.
- Breast cancer death rates have declined by 38 percent since 1989, contributing to 297,300 lives saved.
- The five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes or other location is 99 percent.
The Janet Knowles Breast Cancer Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper is one of the region’s leading providers of innovative prevention, detection and treatment for women with breast cancer. To learn more, click here.
Rosaria, Cooper Social Media: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I’m here with Dr. Dragun to talk about the Real Men Wear Pink campaign and to talk about our breast cancer program here at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Pink is a great color on you by the way!
Anthony Dragun, MD: Thank you, I hope it is because I’m going to be wearing it all month!
Rosaria: So what is the Real Men Wear Pink campaign?
Dr. Dragun: Well, it’s a campaign from the American Cancer Society where men from different aspects of society and doctors will wear pink to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Rosaria: Great, can you tell us a bit about the breast cancer program here?
Dr. Dragun: I think it’s one of the best programs you could ever design because it is a multidisciplinary type of program where all patients, when they come through the system, are seen by surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, as well as geneticists, and lots of different support folks to design a customized treatment plan that fits the needs of those individual patients.
I think that the Real Men Wear Pink campaign is really important because even though breast cancer largely affects women, obviously it does affect some men, but all of us have mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters. Breast cancer affects so many women. A quarter of a million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every year and I think its really important that we should show our support for the kind of crisis that affects people on so many different personal levels, and to let the women in our lives know that we’re there for them and that we’re supportive of them, and as they get through and get into survivorship that we’re always going to be there for them.
Rosaria: Thank you so much. It’s going to be great watching you wear pink for the rest of the month of October.
Dr. Dragun: I’ll be wearing it!
Rosaria: For anyone who wants more information, we’re going to have everything up on our blog. Thank you so much, and thank you, Dr. Dragun, I appreciate your time.
Dr. Dragun: Thank you, I appreciate it, thank you.