Linganore bands together for a cure to breast cancer


courtesy of Laurie Ward

Lancer Poms at the end of their performance at the Pink Out (October 21, 2016)

by Savannah Sitler, Reporter

Breast cancer is the most common cancer, with more than 249,000 new cases expected for the year of 2016. It is increasingly important that doctors and scientists find a cure to this disease.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has occurred in October for the past 31 years. Since then, there have been numerous discoveries about the disease and its cure.

Notable fundraising franchise Susan G. Komen has invested more than $2.6 billion in breast cancer research, community health outreach, advocacy, and programs in more than 60 countries around the globe. According to their website, their “efforts helped reduce death rates from breast cancer by 37 percent between 1990-2013 and have helped improve the five-year relative survival rate for early stage cancers in the U.S. from about 74 to 99 percent.”

Susan G. Komen has invested in the many various divisions of breast cancer, including treatment research, survivor outcomes, biology, early detection, and causes of breast cancer. In total, they made $86.4 million with 154 races around the globe in 2015.

Unfortunately, breast cancer is still the second most common cause of death from cancer for women in the United States.

Linganore has been wearing pink in order to increase awareness during the month of October. The volleyball team participates in Dig Pink, an organization created by the Side-Out Foundation that helps raise money for the cure.

The 2016 Dig Pink took place on October 6, where the volleyball girls played Middletown and both JV and Varsity teams were victorious. At this event, breast cancer survivor Elizabeth Warrenfeltz was gave a motivational speech. In her speech, she emphasized the fact that all women need to get their mammograms, if not for themselves, then for their families and friends.

Elizabeth Warrenfeltz in the midst of her speech at the Dig Pink on October 6, 2016.
courtesy of Sonja Coupard
Elizabeth Warrenfeltz in the midst of her speech at the Dig Pink on October 6, 2016.

Survivors not only have a strong base of support via multiple fundraisers, but also they have a network made up of other supportive survivors.

Angela Pohuski, a breast cancer survivor for four years, was diagnosed with stage zero DCIS non-invasive breast cancer on December 28, 2011. When the cancer was found in her breasts, the cancer cells had not left the milk ducts to invade the nearby breast tissue.

As treatment, she had to get a lumpectomy and had to endure 33 days of radiation. As of June 7, 2012, she is considered cancer-free. Pohuski said that she considers herself in remission because, technically, the cancer could always come back later in life.

Also, Pohuski, with family and friends, have participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley for the past five years. She said that the race is “very emotional…. I feel very lucky because I was so early stage and there are many women out there still fighting that were farther along and it didn’t get caught soon enough. This walk makes people think twice and raises awareness.”

Pohuski feels very strongly about Breast Cancer Awareness Month for obvious reasons. Her strength is inspiring and beautiful to anyone looking.

This walk has allowed Pohuski to be able to connect with many other survivors and offer and receive support for them. She loves to spread her message and talk about breast cancer to anyone who will listen.

Although Breast Cancer Awareness Month does benefit many, not all is pink.

While many women are victim to breast cancer and die every year, there are also many other cancers and diseases with unsettling effects, death rates, and no cure.

Lung cancer has a greater death rate among women and a far lower chance of recovery. It is less common than breast cancer, but it has an extremely low survival rate. The American Lung Association states that “the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 54 percent for cases detected when the disease is still localized (within the lungs). However, only 15 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. For distant tumors (spread to other organs) the five-year survival rate is only 4 percent.”

The most unnerving thing about these statistics is that most probably do not know that lung cancer is so fatal.

With this being said, it seems slightly unfair for there to be a so celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month and no well-known Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Many probably have no idea that there are other Cancer Awareness Months. To see a list of all the Awareness Months, visit  Choose Hope’s calendar. November is Lung, Carcinoid, Pancreatic, and Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. Also, November is National Family Caregivers Month.

Linganore participates in several other campaigns and fundraisers besides the Dig Pink.

Alyssa Danner, the SGA student organizer for Linganore’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2016, said Linganore participates in this Awareness Month every year but that “this year [specifically] I hope to make it the best year yet in supporting the fight against breast cancer.”

Linganore is in charge of organizing the Varsity Football Pink Out on October 21, 2016. The Tribe and other spectators at the Friday night football game will dress in the color pink in order to show their support and raise money for the cause. Linganore will be selling T-shirts and several other items that will profit towards the cure.

Additionally, there was a Team Linganore at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Watkins Park in Mt. Airy on October 16, 2016. The Key Club, SGA, and several others all joined together for cause.

There is no doubt that breast cancer is a wicked disease that has affected many people and will continue to affect many more until the cure is found. Until then, it is imperative that everyone bands together for the cure and supports the brave people that are fighting and have fought valiantly.

Events for the cause:

Girls’ Volleyball Dig Pink – October 6

Making Strides Cancer Walk at Watkins Park, Mt. Airy – October 16

Varsity Football Pink Out – October 21

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley – October 23