The Garden City Telegram
9/29/2012
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Pink power

Colorful campaign promotes need for preventive measures.

Starting Monday, look for more splashes of pink.

October brings National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign targeting a disease that kills some 40,000 women each year in the United States.

Pink — whether displayed in a ribbon, T-shirt or in other ways — has become the color associated with breast cancer awareness.

And it's seen well beyond October. This past summer, for example, pink fire trucks rolled through Garden City as part of the "Pink Heals Tour," a show of support for women battling cancer and cancer survivors.

One in eight women will develop breast cancer. Today, nearly two-thirds of women diagnosed are in the early stages, compared to less than half diagnosed 30 years ago.

The good news is that early detection has helped trigger a decline in breast cancer deaths in the nation. But the battle against a disease still second to only lung cancer in the number of cancer deaths in women is far from over.

Too many women pass on mammograms. That disturbing trend can be blamed on such factors as a false sense of security as breast cancer deaths decline, or a lack of insurance.

Some women also fear what a mammogram might reveal. But early detection cannot be nearly as frightening as a late-stage diagnosis.

With that in mind, consider National Breast Cancer Awareness Month yet another needed reminder of the importance of screening for breast cancer.

And we'll see many promotions looking to drive home that message — such as the Garden City Fire Department selling T-shirts with proceeds benefiting the local fight against cancer. And, Oct. 25 through 27 has been proclaimed "Cares Enough to Wear Pink Days" in Garden City.

Regardless of how awareness is generated, it's a call to band together and fight for those who face a cancer diagnosis, and also take a more active role in reducing risk of the disease.

There are many ways to get involved, from helping someone make an appointment for a screening to supporting cancer research. No one should sit back and be satisfied until the disease is no longer a threat.