‘Going Pink’ is saving lives

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013

You may have noticed a bit of pink out and about this month: on the uniforms of high school athletes and professional football players, the t-shirts sported by local teachers and bank tellers and even wrapped around buildings of local business. The pink is a high-protile nod to Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Each October, millions of Americans take a moment to pause and reflect on the impact of breast cancer in our lives. We share statistics and information about prevention, diagnosis and treatment; we tell storeis of survivors and share memories of loved ones who lost the fight; and, most important, we raise money to support research for a cure, as well as services that support women and men in their battle against the disease.

Make no mistake, it’s a battle in which we cannot rest.

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Breast cancer is a dogged and pervasive opponent. Experts say one in eight women is likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. That’s a frightening statistic.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and is the leading cause of death in women worldwide. Accoding to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization, a woman is diagnosed with cancer every 19 seconds. Every 74 seconds worldwide, someone dies from breast cancer. And, with incidence rates rising some 30 percent in westernized countries during the past 25 years, the prevelance of the disease continues to spread.

But the good news is progress is being made in the battle. Significant advances in diagnosis are helping women identify potential cancers earlier and, in many cases, helping save lives. Genetic screening tests help women identify their risk factors, alerting them to potential dangers. And, thanks to medical research the death rate for breast cancer is 30 percent lower than it was 25 years ago. That means more than 2.9 million women are today count themselves among the survivors.

So when you see the pink jerseys or t-shirts this month, remember they’re doing much more than simply supporting a cause. They’re supporting the women who fight, the people who love them, and the research that is helping saving lives.