While the colors that decorate the month of October are usually orange and black, one very important color to display in the month of October is pink; in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. This month kicks-off a time when women everywhere work to support those who have suffered through the tragic disease. Originally designated by the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc., Breast Cancer Awareness Month is now a nationwide tribute recognized by the government, businesses, and citizens.
All over the world people show their support for breast cancer awareness. NFL players wear pink accessories. Marathon runners wear pink. People decked out in pink line the streets for walk-a-thons, and many citizens change their look with pink hair and nails. Even cities host “pink” events in celebration. For example, every years Indianapolis hosts the dying of the canal; an event where the Colts football team and city officials dye the canal pink. But as everyone joins in celebration another important event, perhaps the most important, was none other than the FDA approval of a breast cancer fighting drug.
Just in time for breast cancer awareness month the FDA had recently approved a drug known as Perjeta. This drug, from Roche, was the first approved and is meant to be used as a pre-surgical step for women in the early stages of breast cancer. Although doctors already use many chemotherapy drugs as an initial treatment to cancer, Perjeta is the first to be formally approved for breast cancer. The approval was moved through quickly by the FDA after a study immediately showed that women who received the drug during early stage breast cancer were more often cancer free after 12 weeks than women who were given older drug combinations.
This discovery was a major achievement in the fight against cancer. Now the FDA is also reviewing a drug that can not only be used for breast cancer, but can also be used for other forms of cancer as well. The drug known as Abraxane, a combination of the protein Albumin and a chemotherapy drug, Paclitaxel, has been discovered by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. The drug has been approved for breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer, but upon successful clinical trials may also later be approved for many other forms of cancer. Dr. Soon-Shiong states that he believes we are close to finding a cure for cancer. Great news for people everywhere as many who have had cancer have tragically lost the battle.
As researchers continue to move forward everyone everywhere can now find hope for themselves and their loved ones as we move closer to winning the battle over today’s deadliest disease. Discoveries for the cure are being made in medical science and as we all move forward into the future we remember all those that have been lost and hope for a time when the amount of losses from cancer will be zero. Join in celebration this month and remember to show your support in October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Written by: Crystal Boulware