Breast Cancer Is Not A Pink Ribbon
"The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.
Dedicated to the more than 10,000 women under the age of 40 who will be diagnosed this year alone, The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection and healing. The mission is three-fold: raise public consciousness of early-onset breast cancer, raise funds for breast cancer research/outreach programs and help young survivors see their scars, faces, figures and experiences through a new, honest and ultimately empowering lens.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women ages 15-40. The SCAR Project participants range from ages 18 to 35, and represent this often overlooked group of young women living with breast cancer. They journey from across America – and the world – to be photographed for The SCAR Project. Nearly 100 so far. The youngest being 18 years old.
Although Jay began shooting The SCAR Project primarily as an awareness raising campaign, he was not prepared for something much more immediate . . . and beautiful: 'For these young women, having their portrait taken seems to represent their personal victory over this terrifying disease. It helps them reclaim their femininity, their sexuality, identity and power after having been robbed of such an important part of it. Through these simple pictures, they seem to gain some acceptance of what has happened to them and the strength to move forward with pride.'" (The SCAR Project)
Get The Facts:
What are your Risks?
Although, breast cancer is not a disease that is seen within my family, I am still at risk. As the SCAR Project has stated, "breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women ages 15-40," and I am 23. Furthermore, I am an African-American woman. What are your risks? Here are some of the facts about who is at risk for developing breast cancer.
1. Women: Simply being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer. Men can develop breast cancer, but this disease is about 100 times more common among women than men.
2. Ladies 15 Years of Age and Older: Although, your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older, about 1 out of 8 invasive breast cancers are found in women younger than 45. However, about 2 of 3 invasive breast cancers are found in women age 55 or older.
3.Individuals With Inherited Gene Mutations: About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, resulting directly from gene defects (called mutations) inherited from a parent. The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
4.Women With a Family History of Breast Cancer: Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease. Having one first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer approximately doubles a woman's risk. Having 2 first-degree relatives increases her risk about 3-fold. However, overall less than 15% of women with breast cancer have a family member with this disease. This means that most (over 85%) women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of this disease.
5.White & African American Women: Overall, white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than are African-American women, but African-American women are more likely to die of this cancer. However, in women under 45 years of age, breast cancer is more common in African- American women. Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer.
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