Hello, October, the month that will (hopefully) see the beginning of cooler weather. There will be pumpkins, candy, costumes and pink ribbons galore.
That’s right. I said pink ribbons. Those things will definitely stand out among the sea of orange, red, brown and black everything that normally shows up this time of year.
Halloween may be around the corner, but in the middle of your spooky fun, take a moment to think about what else this month celebrates.
The pink ribbons remind us that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
According to BreastCancer.org, about 1 in 8 women in the United States, which is about 12 percent of the population, will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of a lifetime.
In 2017, over 250,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Over 60,000 women are also expected to receive a diagnosis of a non-invasive form of breast cancer in 2017.
Also, in case you were not aware, men can develop breast cancer, so guys, check yourselves out, too.
BreastCancer.org states that over 2,000 cases of invasive breast cancer may be diagnosed in men in 2017.
“A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000,” the website states.
So, know how to be tested and how old you must be to be tested by a medical professional.
The Mayo Clinic suggests having your first mammogram as early as 40.
“Mayo Clinic supports screening beginning at age 40 because screening mammograms can detect breast abnormalities early in women in their 40s,” the organization’s website states. “Findings from randomized trials of women in their 40s and 50s have demonstrated that screening mammograms decrease breast cancer deaths by 15 to 29 percent.”
For women who may not be old enough to have a mammogram, learn how to perform a self-exam. Many women have caught their cancer early because they felt a lump and immediately met with a doctor.
“Breast self-exam (BSE), or regularly examining your breasts on your own, can be an important way to find a breast cancer early, when it’s more likely to be treated successfully,” according to the BreastCancer.org website. “Not every cancer can be found this way, but it is a critical step you can and should take for yourself.”
This all relates back to the pink ribbon that you’ll see throughout October.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is synonymous with a pink ribbon. Businesses will sometimes place pink ribbons on the doors; women who have been affected by breast cancer (or those that support them) will wear pink.
Even men may wear the color. Real men wear pink, you know.
When you see a pink ribbon, a pink shirt, or anything pink anywhere, chances are it’s a reminder and a chance to become more aware.
It’s a reminder that a woman or a man, maybe someone you know, has fought a battle with breast cancer.
Take a moment to remember that in between scaring others and sneaking a bite of candy this month.
Cassie Gibbs is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.