NATIONAL OPINION: Breast cancer awareness colors Alabama

By Decatur Daily, Decatur, Ala.

Pink is everywhere.
Athens is sporting pink garbage cans. In Austin High School’s homecoming parade, the drum majors wore pink gloves. Last week, The (Decatur) Daily was printed on pink paper.
On Saturday, a Power of Pink Walk began at the Morgan County Courthouse, one of many pink-themed events this month.
Pink’s pervasive presence, of course, is in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The numbers related to breast cancer are startling.
It is the second-most common form of disease in women, trailing only skin cancer.
One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes.
About 2.9 million in the United States are survivors of breast cancer, more than any other group of cancer survivors. It’s a serious disease, but because of medical advances, it is no longer a death sentence.
The Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation predicts 226,870 new cases of breast cancer and 39,510 breast cancer deaths will occur among women in the U.S. this year.
More than 2,100 new cases of breast cancer and 410 related deaths are expected to occur among men.
The key to the best outcome, according to doctors, is early detection and diagnosis. This can lead to a better chance of survival and, in some cases, less invasive treatments.
This means frequent self-examinations. Pay attention to lumps, discoloration, discharges or other changes. All are a reason for seeing your doctor.
Regular mammograms are important, at least one a year for women age 40 and older.
Women should be familiar with their family history and should consult with their doctor and follow the recommendations for regular breast cancer screenings.
Many excellent organizations are improving the survival rates for breast cancer. Donations help in the effort to find a cure and to improve the treatment options.
From the football field to the pages of newspapers, we will see a lot of pink in unusual places during October.
Each appearance is another reminder of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


-Decatur Daily, Decatur, Ala.