The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer at some point in their life. It's also estimated that about 252,710 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone.
Closer to home, Cape Henlopen High School Economics teacher Lisa Locklear has recently been diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.
"I caught it early which is very good because it is treatable and it is manageable. I'm keeping a positive outlook and I'm trying to keep the positive vibes around," Locklear said.
In 2011, Locklear's sister, Kim Miller, passed away after battling with breast cancer at the age of 28. This inspired Locklear to start the annual Kim Miller 5K race. The race is held in Georgetown at the 16 Mile Brewery and all the proceeds are donated to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
"The race is always held in April which is the month of my sister's birthday. So instead of it being something sad, it can be a way of remembering her," Locklear said.
She said she realizes she is at high risk for getting the disease. Her mother passed away from breast cancer a year ago.
Locklear has had a mammogram every year since her sister died. This year, when Locklear went for her mammogram, the doctors found a mass on the scans and told her to come back to their office for a biopsy the following day.
"That's when I knew that I had breast cancer," she said. "I had been doing self examinations and I never felt the mass. The doctors had to show me on the scans where it was at."
Some Cape High students are trying to spread breast cancer awareness and would like to see more discussion in health class. "It always seems like bad things happen to good people. I definitely think that we should've learned about it in health class," said senior Taylor Hazzard.
Teaching young women the importance of self examination is something that should be required in health class, even if it only helps a small group of women, said Locklear.
"I lost my sister when she was 28 years old. I am 35 years old and I have been diagnosed. Insurances don't cover mammogram screenings until you're 40, so I definitely think that early detection and self examinations should be taught in health classes," she said.
While Locklear is out of school receiving her treatment, Jeff Jablon has taken over her teaching schedule. "Mr. Jablon actually volunteered to cover my classes. So a substitute is going to be covering his classes. He agreed to add my classes on to his work load, which I appreciate," Locklear said.
Students and staff wore pink Oct. 30 to raise awareness for Locklear and her fight against breast cancer. Locklear is expected to return to work after winter break.
For information about the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition or to donate to the cause, go to debreastcancer.org.
Editor's note: Sarah Hunsicker and Katie Redefer are senior editors-in-chief for Cape Viking Ventures.