Awareness helps us all make progress

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month as well as being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Yes, we are making a difference when it comes to surviving each of these threats to our health and safety.

To treat breast cancer, doctors are coming up with different kinds of medicine that patients can take in order for the treatment to improve, and researchers are taking steps toward a cure.

The Health Services Research program analyzes cancer treatment and outcomes using data collected from several national cancer registry databases. Research has focused on defining the role of health insurance in cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival disparities, and has also included studies examining the impact of race/ethnicity, quality of care and safety-net burden on cancer outcomes. 

The American Cancer Society is also committed to research on improving care for cancer patients and their families. This area of research focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients by addressing physical, emotional, spiritual and social concerns that arise during the illness.

The society funds and conducts research focused on surviving cancer and the treatment. No single nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization in the United States has invested more to find the causes and treatments of cancer than the American Cancer Society. 

The Behavioral Research Center also conducts cancer research, with the aim being to reduce cancer disparities and improve outcomes and quality of life among survivors, caregivers and the general population. The group also provides behavioral expertise to the ACS.

Thanks to advances in detection and treatment, 13 million American cancer survivors are alive today, and the numbers are growing. Although research has begun to document the issues faced by cancer survivors, many questions remain.

Domestic violence awareness is making a difference in our society because those who have been abused are coming forward. Law enforcement now has a hot line where people can easily contact them if they need assistance. 

There is also a program that women can go to called the Domestic Abuse Center if they want to get away from their abusers. More and more women (and men) are now standing up for themselves and speaking out against their attackers. 

We are making a difference on both of these fronts in today’s society, and hopefully, our world will continue to improve on both sides.

Chauncey Dean is a senior mass communication major from Ruston.