Breast Cancer Awareness Month


From left- Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Baker, and Coach Powell

Bonnie Horn, Staff Writer

October 1 marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To try to provide support to the men and women who are survivors and the ones who are currently battling this disease, people including but not limited to the community of Abilene demonstrate their support through different ways such as wearing vast amounts of pink, pinning ribbons to their jackets and shirts, and creating bulletin boards and signs that are spread throughout the nation to try to further spread awareness about breast cancer. The entire globe rallies together to ensure that those with breast cancer are recognized and respected.  

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is divided into two categories: invasive and noninvasive. As reported by, invasive breast cancer is when cancer cells from inside the milk duct or lobules enter the breast tissue. Types of invasive breast cancer include metastatic breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma, inflammatory breast cancer, Paget disease of the breast, and metaplastic breast cancer. Treatment for invasive involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and hormone therapy. states that noninvasive breast cancer is when the cancer cells stay within the milk ducts or lobules in the breast. Types of noninvasive breast cancer include ductal carcinoma in situ and lobular carcinoma in situ. says that treatment is most often a mastectomy. 


Statistics provided by 

-About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

-In 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 62,930 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

-About 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2019. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883.

-Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.

-Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2019, it’s estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.

 Interviews from staff in the Wylie community who are currently battling cancer or who have fought it:

 Mrs. Lin Thompson (Belles coach)

When were you diagnosed with cancer? I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2009.

 Do you have a support network? If so, who are the people who came to your aid? I was beyond blessed with an amazing support network.  My husband, parents and siblings all stepped up and flew in for one of my six rounds of chemo. My best friend flew in to help after my mastectomy and my dear friends locally helped with meals, cleaning my house, and watching my two children who were just 4 and 18 months during my treatment.  At the time, I worked at Cooper and they too helped cover me at work and also started the pink out pep rallies and t-shirt sales that raised money for our local Cancer Services Network and continue to this day.

 Do you have a message that you would like to share in regards to spreading awareness about cancer?   

I was only 31 and had no known risk factors for developing breast cancer.  It is ONLY because I did a self-exam, felt a lump, and with the continued encouragement of one of my drill team girls, went and got checked.  Had I waited another 9 years for the ‘required’ mammogram, there is no guarantee I would still be here to tell my story. Self-check, know your body and trust your gut.  It’s better to be concerned, get checked and it be nothing, than to do nothing and it be something.  

 Mrs. Amy Powell (girls’ basketball coach)

 Diagnosed: June 2006

Support Network:  My family, my extended family, numerous friends.  My family was there to help with meals and take care of my boys who were ages 3, 6, and 9 at the time. My parents came to town as much as possible and helped with anything that needed to be done, house cleaning, yard work, meals etc. My sister flew in from Nebraska to go to MD Anderson with me for treatments.   I had a dear friend that would come and babysit my 3 year old while the other two were in school. The entire community of Hallettsville, Texas brought meals almost on a daily basis during treatment, so I didn’t have to worry about cooking. I was so thankful to have such a great support system, so I could concentrate on getting better. 

 My message would be to women that we as moms are usually taking care of everyone else that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. I was thankful that my husband made me go to the doctor to get it checked it because I was otherwise ” too busy” to go. Be proactive. I had no history of breast cancer in my family and was fairly young (36).  I just didn’t think it could happen to me. 

 Mrs. DeeDee Baker (health teacher)

 When were you diagnosed with cancer? 

 October 7, 2019

Do you have a support network? If so, who are the people who came to your aid? 

 I have the most amazing support network in my family and friends. I can’t even put into words how much I appreciate all of the love and support that has come since my diagnosis. The community and school support of Wylie has been awesome. I don’t feel worthy of everything that is being done for me and my family, but I truly appreciate all of it. 

 Do you have a message that you would like to share in regards to spreading awareness about cancer?     

At this point, I don’t have a specific message about spreading awareness, but I do feel a huge conviction to pay it forward, to other’s that will have to go through this, once I have kicked cancer’s butt and I am completely healed. The love and support that has been bestowed upon me has made a huge impact in my life, and I know that one day, I will get the opportunity to serve others just as others are serving me right now.

Every single person needs to continue to raise awareness about breast cancer by acquiring as much information as possible. This could potentially help with early detection of breast cancer, which could dramatically increase breast cancer survival rates. Having a substantial amount of knowledge regarding breast cancer could potentially save you or someone else’s life.