It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and while everything seems to turn to a shade of pink this month, it’s not just a marketing tool! When the statistics show that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime, that’s not a reason to sell more products – it’s a reason to grab everyone’s attention and raise awareness. We all have a role when it comes to disease prevention, detection, education, and awareness. 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. Pink represents that you are aware, and you care!
When someone is in the battle against breast cancer, we hope when they see people boasting Breast Cancer Awareness Month pink, that they feel our support. That they see the pink ribbons and they are reminded they aren’t in this alone. Perhaps that pink you wear feels insignificant, but to someone in the fight against breast cancer, it may be the encouragement and validation they need to be reminded we all want them to win. 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. Patients are diagnosed and then immediately ready to fight, they often experience sadness, anxiety, and even grief over their bodies that no longer seem their own. When you wear pink, you become an ally to those who need it most during their breast cancer journey.
Wearing pink can also be a chance to honor those who’ve won the fight. If you’ve never had to battle for your health or watch a loved one do the same, consider yourself fortunate. For those who’ve received the diagnosis, endured the treatments and now are living life after cancer, that is to always be celebrated. Wearing pink can honor the survivors of breast cancer in a simple but meaningful way. Through modern medicine and early detection, the survival rates of cancer are looking better and better. When you wear your pink this month, think of all the amazing, courageous people you may know whom you can honor with a simple gesture.
Breast Cancer takes so many different roads for people, and for some, they will lose their life to this disease. This month we are reminded of the lives lost to breast cancer. Wearing pink can also be your silent way of honoring a loved one, a friend, a coworker or partner. Wearing pink can be a way of saying, “you still matter!”
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 that we play a part in this fight. You can play a part by making sure you make your health a priority and you aren’t skipping your routine doctor’s visits or early-detection exams. You can be a part of making a difference by having open conversations with your health care providers about any changes in your health, your family history, or concerns. You can be a great support to others by encouraging them to take their own health seriously as well. Offer to share your experiences, go with them to an appointment or just be a great listener. You can of course always help support many causes with monetary donations, but sometimes you can also do that by making a meal, offering a ride, or even just loving someone without making them feel “different.” Everyone has a way to help support awareness.
Breast Cancer is still all too real and prevalent in our lives. This month we encourage everyone to learn more and share more about it. It’s also a time to show those colors to support 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, but you will also see us as a sea of pink on Wednesdays all month long to show our commitment to the cause. Join us if you can! Let’s support, honor, and remember together!
Director of The Wellness Center