Do You Think Pink?
What do you think of when you see a pink ribbon? Most Upstate students would probably say it stands for breast cancer awareness. While a lot of people may be familiar with the little, pink ribbon, many young adults, especially women, are not aware of a finding concerning breast cancer.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard University found important, life-saving information for women. In a group of 600 women who were followed by the researchers for nine years at two Boston hospitals, it was found that half of them who died of breast cancer died before the age of 40. An even more alarming part of this study found that 71% of those women who died had never had a mammogram.
Yet, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women 50 years and older get mammograms every other year. Luckily, in 2009, the USPSTF retracted their statement and, instead, advised women to get screened every year starting at 40 years old.
While these recommendations are still used by most doctors in the US, it goes to show that mammograms really can help save lives. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. In a group of eight women, at least one of them will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. If that doesn’t startle you, then it might worry you to know that breast cancer does not show any symptoms. However, breast cancer is treatable if it is caught early.
In light of next month being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let us not take this issue lightly. Women and men, alike, can be victims of this ruthless cancer. A mammogram can save a life. Be aware and be in the know.
There are many ways to help women, starting in your own community. Donating a small amount of money to the National Breast Cancer Foundation can help a woman, who cannot afford a mammogram, get one. You could save a life with just a simple gesture. And of course, Breast Cancer Awareness walks are one of the most positive-filled and influential ways to participate in your community.
Don’t forget to think pink this October!