Pink is the color of choice this October as we celebrate breast cancer awareness month! However, this month experts are encouraging not only awareness but ACTION! Statistics show that in 2010, cancer will surpass heart disease and stroke as the leading cause of death worldwide. The surging cancer cases and deaths in mid- to low-income countries are daunting and is evidence that immediate action is pertinent.
Today, as a result of heightened awareness, early detection and improvement in treatment, millions of women in the United States are triumphing against the threat of breast cancer. Nevertheless, these statistics may not be so in mid- to low-income countries where breast cancer cases are being reported at very late stages; too late a stage for anything to be done. The lack of awareness and the crippling misconceptions associated with cancer are to blame for the increasing causalities of this terrible disease. Today, over half a million women in developing countries are victims to breast and cervical cancers. In July 2010, a statement was released by the First Ladies of 7 African nations (Ghana, Niger, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, The Gambia and Zambia) to champion the cause to promote awareness and mobilize efforts to combat the growing burden of women’s cancer, especially breast and cervical cancers in Africa. This statement, a step in right direction, expresses the commitment of our African leaders to support the global fight against cancer.
However, at a grassroots level, what are we doing to protect our mothers, sisters, cousins, friends and more importantly ourselves from this global killer? This Breast Cancer awareness month, let us move into action, get informed and share the breast cancer message:
- Annual mammogram checkups are advised for women 40 years and over.
- Self awareness extends beyond self breast exams – the importance of Breast awareness is paramount. Breast awareness simply means paying close attention to any change of the breast.
- Reduce risk factors by adopting a healthy lifestyle – eating right, exercising, regular checkups and living life to its fullest!
For more information on breast cancer, please visit the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer website.
This October support the pink cause and let us celebrate our mothers, our sisters, our cousins, our aunties and ourselves! That is the importance of pink!!!!!