The funny thing about “life” is that anything can happen at any time. You can be thriving in your relationships and work or have just bought your dream home, and “life” can sweep in and knock you off your feet with circumstances beyond your control that can change your life forever. Anyone who has ever heard the words, “you have cancer,” knows exactly what this feels like. This month we must put our attention on Breast Cancer as it continues to impact all too many lives.

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer became the most common cancer globally as of 2021, accounting for 12% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide. One in eight women will hear the words, “you have breast cancer.” Women whom we know, women whom we love, and maybe even you or me will live this all too common and deeply devastating moment. shares many facts that may sweep you off your feet. For example, “Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2022, it’s estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.” Although men also have their own concerns, the site shares that, “a man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.” These numbers are big, these numbers are scary, these numbers include too many people who are at risk from that chilling moment of hearing they too are now part of these statistics. We can help.

We can help make a difference starting right now and starting today by raising awareness and breaking down any stigma that revolves around breast cancer. We can be good friends, loving spouses, and reassuring family members that encourage and empower each other to make our health a priority and to never say, “we don’t have time” for our own wellbeing. We can lead by example by making sure we make preventative health visits as important as anything else we do. We can lead by example by making sure not to skip mammograms and really any other important visits that can help us be more aware of our bodies. We can lead by example by starting the discussion about breast cancer, that it is real, that it can happen, and that we all have a responsibility to be proactive about it.

Talking about breast cancer needs to be normalized. While it isn’t something that most likely comes up naturally in conversations, it should. If you want to talk to your family or friends about breast cancer, you should. Think about who you will be discussing it with and how to approach the subjects of talking about our bodies, our health, and our dangers. Both men and women are at risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer can attack the cells of anyone. Breast cancer doesn’t care what gender you are, how much money you have or the color of your skin, breast cancer does not discriminate. Starting conversations with people around you can help to normalize talking about breast cancer.

At North Country Hospital you can expect to see a sea of PINK on Wednesdays as we focus October on our “Wear PINK Wednesdays.” This week will be a time to celebrate our family, friends, coworkers, and patients who have survived or are in remission from breast cancer. It will be a week to support those in the current struggle and battle against it. It will also be a week to honor those who have lost their lives to this horrible disease. Just like any workplace family, we have seen some of our own who have faced all three of these areas and we are taking a whole month to raise awareness for those who can’t. We hope it’s just the start to welcoming open conversations about breast cancer and a reminder to those around us to make those important appointments such as yearly wellness visits, mammograms, and other health screenings.

Wear pink with us. Please! Wear pink and let people ask you why. Tell them you are raising awareness. Share a story of a friend you loved who beat cancer. Tell a coworker you made your mammogram appointment and would they like to make one too. Share a fond memory of someone you treasured who lost their life too soon. We may not find a cure for cancer this month or next, but we will raise awareness and proudly share our support. Join us this month and wear pink, please!


Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center