Breast cancer research making strides

By John Conley jconley@civitasmedia.com

October 23, 2013

The Wyoming East Lady Warriors volleyball team is wearing pink for a good cause.

East will be wearing pink shirts in the weeks ahead in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Max Boyce, coach of the Lady Warriors, said Angel Davis, a parent of one of the players, purchased the shirts for the team.

“We’re very greatful,” he added. “We have a good group of parents.

“We have a good group of parents,” Boyce said. “They’re very supportive.”

East had a match on Oct. 1 and wore the pink shirts that night.

“I think it’s cool that they’re wearing them on the first of the month,” Boyce commented. “They’re going to be wearing the pink shirts for the rest of October.”

Breast cancer research and treatment have made big gains in the last 20 years, according to Melanie Meachum, a community manager for the American Cancer Society.

About $86 million in breast cancer research grants has been awarded, she noted. “The American Cancer Society has really invested more in breast cancer research than any other cancer,” she noted. “It has played an important role in nearly every important breast cancer breakthough.”

The ACS also helped establish mammography as the preferred method for finding breast cancer early.

“We know early detetcton is the key,” Meachum commented. “The progress that we’re making on breast cancer death rates is pretty dramatic,” she noted. “We’ve seen a 33 percent decline from the early 1990s to 2009. That’s about 184,000 lives saved.”

The ACS connects newly diagnosed women with trained breast cancer survivors.

“They’re a kind of mentor to them,” Meachum said.

Other services offered include rides to treatment for breast cancer patients and the Look Good, Feel Better program.

“Our ultimate goal is to finish the fight,” stated Meachum. “We want to end all cancers.”

Notes: The Wyoming County Relay For Life, which raises money for the ACS, will have a booth at the Autumn Fest in Pineville on Oct. 26. RFL will next meet on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Cook Memorial Baptist Church Annex …There will be a purse auction at Crossroads Mall near Beckley on Oct. 26 at 5 p.m.