The brain is an amazing thing! We see red hearts; we think Valentine’s Day. We see black and orange; we think Halloween. Thanks to the efforts of many people like you, when people see PINK, they now think of breast cancer awareness! While breast cancer month may seem like a marketing tool to sell more products, it’s an inventive way to highlight this all too important topic. Therefore, we are officially saying, Happy Pink-tober this month as we raise awareness, encourage prevention, support those battling, celebrate those in remission and reflect and honor those impacted by breast cancer.
Pink-tober matters because 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime, and that’s just not ok. We all have a chance to change this number when it comes to disease prevention, detection, education, and awareness, but we must act now. Pink represents that you are aware, and you care! Think of Pink-tober as your call to action! When you wear pink this month, you are that visible reminder that Breast Cancer is still too prevalent and there is something we can do about it.
Breast Cancer.org (https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics) shares the most recent statistics that remind us too many people are in combat against breast cancer! The website states, “As of January 2021, there are more than 3.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.” Not only this but many battle depression at the same time. That diagnosis comes with a lot of weight to it. It’s very normal to hear the words “cancer” and to experience sadness, anxiety, anger, and even grief over our bodies that no longer seem our own. When you wear pink, you become an ally to those who need it most during their breast cancer and mental health journey.
Breast Cancer takes so many different roads for different people, and for some, they have one hard year, and off into remission they go, but for others, they may lose their life to this disease. No one cancer diagnosis is the same. This month we are reminded of the lives saved by treatments and the lives lost too soon. Wearing pink can also be your silent way of honoring a loved one, a friend, a coworker, or a partner. Wearing pink can be a way of saying, “you still matter,” and makes you an ally to all those living in this reality.
Awareness months are often filled with events, opportunities to give, and yes, even lots of cute marketing items. Yet, the real goal is to remind people to act now! Yes, wear PINK, but act now by scheduling your prevention visits, reaching out to your medical professionals if you have questions or concerns, not skipping mammograms, starting to talk about breast cancer, and learning more about your own family history. Breast cancer, like many other health concerns, can run in families – get to know your health history if you can. Breast cancer knows no gender, all people can develop breast cancer.
Breast Cancer is still all too real and prevalent in our lives. This month we encourage everyone to act now. Show those colors of support to those in the fight, honor those who’ve survived, and remember those we’ve lost. To some, it may be cliché, or just a chance to wear your favorite pink shirt, but to others, it’s a sign of care, compassion, and encouragement. Here at NCH, we have so many programs and activities going on centered around Breast Cancer Awareness, you will see us as a sea of pink on Wednesdays to show our commitment to the cause and even pink pumpkins displayed around campus. Join us if you can! Let’s act now with a happy Pink-tober!
Director of The Wellness Center