Indiana, PA - Indiana County

STEVE WOLFE'S SEEDS OF WELLNESS: Pink serves as visible reminder

by on October 22, 2013 10:50 AM

Think pink.

That’s what most of us have been doing this month. It’s almost impossible to find an area of our lives that hasn’t had a dash of pink added to it this month.

Our country has embraced the pink ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness month like nothing else we’ve experienced in recent memory. From simple pins on a shirt to races for a cure to NFL players wearing pink socks, wristbands and shoes, it’s become the most visible symbol of our concerted effort raise awareness about breast cancer and to do our best to eliminate this tragic disease.

Our local community has also taken it to another level. Local football and hockey teams (United, Homer-Center, Marion Center, Penns Manor and Indiana) have had pink-out games.

Area bingo games are donating proceeds to the M. Dorcas Clark, MD, Women’s Imaging Center during the month of October.

The Quota club does Bras for A Cause. And I’m sure there are others that we will learn about as we go.

The level of support is truly humbling and inspirational.

But it’s also important to remember why we’re doing this.

In 2013 according to the American Cancer Society:

• About 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.

• About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is noninvasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).

• About 39,620 women will die from breast cancer

And it’s even more important to realize that all of the pink shirts, pins and ribbons are working!

The ACS tells us that breast cancer has fallen to the second-leading cause of cancer death in women.

Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50.

These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment (www.cancer.org/cancer /breastcancer/detailed guide/breast-cancer-key-statistics).

I encourage each of you to continue to show your support for breast cancer awareness. Make pink part of your life this month.

But please don’t forget to have your screening mammogram. Or to talk to a loved one about it.

Or to hug a breast cancer survivor.

Transportation and financial assistance are also available for certain individuals.

You can call (724) 357-8081 to see if you qualify.

There are no excuses for not getting your annual screening mammogram.

You are worth it!



Steve Wolfe, the President and CEO of Indiana Regional Medical Center, writes the periodic Seeds of Wellness column in The Indiana Gazette. His columns appear Tuesdays on the Health Page in the paper and in the Community News on The Indiana Gazette Online.
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