Just think about the many things that might cause the wear and tear that leads to abnormal cell growth—pollutants, hormones, pesticides, smoking, alcohol use, obesity, stress…. Or maybe your cells just made a mistake one day when they were making new genes to pass on to their baby cells. Perhaps there was a misprint in the genetic instruction manual that said switch growth on instead of off.
Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality (a “mistake” in the genetic material). However, only 5-10% of cancers are due to an abnormality inherited from your mother or father. About 90% of breast cancer is due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and the “wear and tear” of life in general.
While there are steps every person can take to help the body stay as healthy as possible (such as eating a balanced diet, not smoking, limiting alcohol, and exercising regularly), breast cancer is never any one's fault. Feeling guilty, or telling yourself that breast cancer happened because of something you or anyone else did, is not productive.
A few weeks ago, my friends (Darey, Dakore, Funke, Ebun and Kingsley) and I decided to come together to say NO to breast cancer in the GENEVIEVE STAND UP TO CANCER PROJECT. Each of us has gone through our own ordeal with the scourge.
Personally, I lost my sister to cancer. she died two years into her marriage. As if our grieving was not enough, the dreaded scourge struck the second time...and the third. My mother went through the trauma over a period of two years,during which they had to carry out a mastectomy. My mother-in-law was also suffering at that time. They both died in the space of one month. In my opinion, it’s a ravenous disease worse than HIV that is plundering the human race.
I believe that when people like my friends and I come together and speak with one voice, then and only THEN, can the human race have a chance at kicking this harbinger of death and pain into extinction - hopefully in the nearest future.