The immeasurable heartbreak that occurs with a breast cancer diagnosis can be isolating. Cancer cells attack the breast tissue, bringing the risk of it spreading and causing irreparable damage and emotional distress. The 20th Annual Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure in Newport Beach sought to eliminate the isolation of the disease through support from others. Many others.
More than 30,000 people gathered at Fashion Island on Sept. 25 to rally for the cause. Dr. Mehmet Oz, Emmy Award-winning host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” addressed the crowd before the race. In an interview with OC METRO, Oz revealed his insight about the disease and the race to find a cure.
“Breast cancer affects everyone, so it’s important for us to all to help raise awareness,” said Oz. “Talk about it with your girlfriends – encourage them to perform self-examinations monthly. Organize a fundraising team. Ultimately, we want a cure. We have made significant strides in detection, diagnosis and treatment, and I hope we can continue to further these advances until there is a cure.”
The day of the race, the crowd was enormous with energy to match. On stage, survivors were given a special seat to the day’s events. Individuals shared their stories while supporters raised balloons and banners. One group dressed in pink tutus and another held up giant bras to show their support.
Prevention is one of the key components that Komen promotes in battling breast cancer.
“Lifestyle helps tremendously, and physical activity associated with weight loss is a great place to start, which is why I love this race,” said Oz. “Women also need to examine themselves and have routine mammograms. Even if you disagree with the frequency of mammograms, at least get a baseline image. It plays a critical role in early detection, which means finding breast cancer at a curable stage.”
Oz is not only a respected health professional; he takes a vested interest in the health of his audience.
“Breast cancer is one of the most discussed topics on my show,” he says. “We want to arm our audience with the latest information and teach them about the risks they face on-air and online as a resource 24-7.”
According to the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov), there was an estimated 230,480 new diagnoses of breast cancer – and 39,520 deaths – in U.S. women 2011.
“Only 20 percent of breast cancer patients have a family history of the disease, so for many, breast cancer can strike without warning,” said Oz.
At press time, over $2.6 million has been raised from the 2011 Race for the Cure. Fundraising continued through Oct. 31. komenoc.org