Why is there so much pink out there? You guessed it, it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and lots of things are happening to observe this month. Here at the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute our gardens have sprung up pink, our fountains are flowing pink, and perhaps you have seen the pink lights sparkling in the front of the building as you drive by. To benefit our Breast Cancer Benevolent fund, we are selling Pink Light Bulbs for your porch and Pink Survivor signs that we hope to line the driveway with here at the institute. We started the month out with pink donuts for the staff and we have had daily contests and fun things going on. All of our monies go into the Breast Cancer Benevolent Fund here at Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute to benefit Breast Cancer Patients here.
Organizations like the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation dedicate funding to help find cures for breast cancer, In that sense, Pink also signifies hope to me and advancing research and hopefully new answers and increasingly better outcomes. Things we do know include: that smoking, stress, alcohol, and obesity are not the best options for anyone and especially those with breast cancer. We also know that physical activity can actually reduce the chances of breast cancer. We know that white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than are African-American women however, in women under 45 years of age; breast cancer is more common in African American women. Did you also know that a pink ribbon with a splash of blue represents men who have breast cancer? Male breast cancer accounts for 1% of all breast cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates in 2010, about 1,970 new cases of breast cancer in men. www.cancer.org.
We are learning new things including newer imaging tests, new laboratory test, new chemotherapy drugs and targeted therapies. We are looking at Bisphosphonates which are drugs that are used to help strengthen and reduce the risk of fractures in bones that have been weakened by metastatic breast cancer. We are also looking at a recent study that found women with early-stage breast cancer who were vitamin D deficient were more likely to have their cancer recur in a distant part of the body and had a poorer outlook but research is continuing on this per American Cancer Society site: www.cancer.org. Much of this progress is through funding raised by supporting a variety of Pink Initiatives.
I like seeing pink as I know that it brings awareness and education to the forefront and I like to know that monies are going towards these advances. I like knowing that we are improving things daily and that with that comes new hope. I like pink!
I often here,” I am Sick of Pink” and I do understand but I have chosen to continue to support it and use it as it is the most readily identifiable means we have to increase breast cancer awareness. Pink, in all forms, shapes, and sizes! Having come through the storm 6 years ago myself, I know there were times that I didn’t want to have to look at a box of cereal or anything else that continued to remind me that I had breast cancer. On the other hand, I know that for each and every penny that goes towards research we are improving testing, treatments, interventions, and outcomes. I don’t go out of my way to buy pink or try to avoid it. I look for what I want to do, eat, wear and buy accordingly although I do openly admit I look for the made in USA label. Some think the marketing makes people buy the pink label, I think as consumers we are smarter than that and buy what we want when we want it and if it is pink, an added benefit.
So if Pink or Pink and Blue can get us closer to the goal of eradicating Breast Cancer, I choose pink.
So when I say I am sick of pink, it is with tongue in cheek as it is part of my identification as the Breast Cancer Educator at the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute and as it is the best means of identification that I have, you will see me in pink for the month of October and the rest of the year. GO PINK!