Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October is for pink


Chayse Richardson

A poster in the hallway, promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Chayse Richardson, Staff Writer

   As high schoolers, breast cancer most likely won’t affect you directly. For some, the month gets completely disregarded. But everyone can support the awareness and make an impact. October started being recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1985, originally created by The American Academy of Family Physicians, AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation, Cancercare Inc, and more. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created to increase early detection and for mammograms to be well known. The best thing someone can do, especially during this month, is to spread awareness. 

   “Remind loved ones of getting mammograms every year,” specialized breast surgeon, Doctor Frances Ting said. “Tell your mom, your aunt, your grandma, and your sister if they’re old enough… You don’t have to have any symptoms, you’re just going to get checked.”

   Mammograms are most beneficial with a routine visit. Generally, people get mammograms not because they think something is wrong, but to make sure there isn’t. Screening commonly starts at the age of forty, then continues annually. 

   “The main thing is to catch it early. That’s the best prevention, staying aware,” breast cancer survivor and published author, Tami Starkey said. 

   The sooner someone is aware, the better. The moment you can feel or see something that might be cancer it’s already been too long. That’s why it’s so important to have Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to continue to keep knowledge about prevention. About one in eight women develop breast cancer in their lifetime. One in thirty-nine of those women, unfortunately, pass away from the illness. Breast cancer shouldn’t be such a taboo topic, especially since communication and awareness can save lives.

   “There was just such a stigma before, and people felt embarrassed or very private about breast cancer or sharing history, but I think that has changed with societal support,” Doctor Ting said. “Awareness with pushing things like this makes people more open to discuss and more likely to go to a doctor. It’s not something that’s embarrassing, or uncomfortable.”

   Donating to breast cancer foundations can also support the cause. Donating to a breast cancer organization can impact lives, further research, create hope, and support treatment for patients. There are many foundations that support breast cancer patients and survivors. The Pink Sistas is one of them.

“The Pink Sistas is a nonprofit organization that Deb Hart had come up with about 10 years ago.” Tami Starky said. “We’re taking 30 survivors to Maui for a week, it really is a fantastic organization.”

The Pink Sistas isn’t the only group supporting breast cancer as Gresham High School has supported breast cancer awareness as well. Renaissance has an annual drive where they sell bracelets, pins, and beaded necklaces in the commons. They also hosted a “Pink Out.” on October 13th, with the intention of everyone wearing pink in support of breast cancer. Plus, the whole school was decorated with pink ribbon symbols and posters that show awareness and support. 

“We will also collect monetary funds during the Volleyball game against Barlow on the 12th, and the Football game against Clackamas on the 13th,” president of renaissance, Kim Cortes said. Funds collected from these events will be donated to an organization that will be announced soon.