With October celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to commit ourselves to events that support the aforementioned movement. Why? According to the 2019 report of the American Cancer Society, 41,760 women will die due to breast cancer. The alarming thing about this statistic is the fact that most women are diagnosed in the late stages because of lack of knowledge about the disease.
In a 2016 cross-sectional study in Eastern Iran, more than 84 percent of 1,469 interviewees mentioned that they are not well-informed about breast screening tests. This was because of the “absence of any symptom or problem” and “they did not think it was necessary.” Statistics that are closer to home exhibit an even more staggering reality: The Philippines had the highest prevalence of breast cancer among 197 countries, based on 2017 data from the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society. And while death rates have decreased since 1989 due to advanced treatments and technologies, not everyone has access to them.
Some risk factors are unavoidable, like age or genetics. But we can always do something about it by educating everyone at an early age. We need to be more conscious of our health, and that means taking action. We can’t always wait for October to have our breasts checked—we have to make it a habit. Lastly, we need to stay informed about the risks that might lead to disease.
Films can also have a far-reaching effect. Media like films can reach large audiences. It has a huge influence on the public, and as a result, people happen to be more informed about crucial topics.
In light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’ve listed five films to watch for an understanding of what living with breast cancer is like. The list includes movies “Miss You Already” and “The Family Stone,” and documentaries. Each plot focuses on different themes: friendship, love, and family.
“Miss You Already”
This 2015 movie starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Colette explores the dynamics of friendship amid a breast cancer diagnosis, highlighting the importance of having a support system when facing such adversity. What makes the film so moving is that it is based on the personal experience of screenwriter Morwenna Banks, who lost three of her closest friends to breast cancer.
“Mondays at Racine”
Sisters Rachel and Cynthia own a salon together, and every third Monday of the month, they offer free pampering services to women with cancer. This includes “head shaving, wig care, yoga, Reiki therapy, cosmetics, and massage therapy.” This film is important because it tackles the physical and emotional fears of women. The sisters were inspired by their mother who was affected by breast cancer.
“Five” is comprised of five short films about women diagnosed with breast cancer. It shows the experiences women face in disclosing their diagnosis and how people would accept it. These short films are also female-centric with each story directed by a different woman including Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, and Alicia Keys.
“The Family Stone”
Sybil, the matriarch of the family in this movie, wants everyone home because she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. But as the film goes on, Sybil shows that her disease won’t stop her from living her best life. A star-studded film, “The Family Stone” has a comedic storyline with a tragic twist.
“The C-Word” is a 2016 documentary about how to prevent breast cancer as it speaks to resource persons and experts. The director, Meghan L’Ohara, is one of those people whose life has been changed by cancer. Meghan and author of “Anticancer” Dr. David Servan-Schreiber shared their stories in the film, providing extensive knowledge on what cancer is about.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
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