October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In keeping with the occasion, a unique opportunity is available for Angelenos who have been impacted by breast cancer either directly or indirectly. Actress Liliana Komorowska’s film, Beauty and the Breast, can be viewed at the 14th Annual Polish Film Festival on Thursday, October 10. The festival runs from October 8 through October 17 at Laemmle's NoHo 7 Theater (5240 Lankershim Blvd., LA 91601).
The full-length documentary (86 minutes) features nine women coping with breast cancer. Each woman has a different experience with the disease; however, they all combat the disease with grim determination. Liliana asserts, “You don’t have to have breasts to be a woman.” The women in her documentary share that viewpoint and disregard society’s general perception that breasts are an essential element of femininity. She notes that her documentary is an intimate portrayal is an intimate portrayal of nine breast cancer survivors, not a medical dissertation. The film details the complexities of all the various stages of breast cancer; it follows the women through their spiritual, physical and emotional transformations as they deal with the disease. I have viewed the film, and as an obstetrician/gynecologist who deals with women’s health, I heartily recommend it.
If you cannot attend this Thursday’s event, other options are available. The film can be rented as a download at the Beauty and the Breast Website. Other options are available. For more information regarding the Polish Film Festival, click on this link.
- The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2013 are:
- About 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
- About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
- About 39,620 women will die from breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society notes that breast cancer ranks second among cancer deaths in women after lung cancer. On a positive note, the breast cancer death rate in women age 50 and older in the U.S. has been falling by about 2% per year, since 1990.