“Think pink.” I hear this a lot throughout the month of February, as communities and businesses try to raise awareness around the topic of breast cancer. Honestly, I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of pink thinking going on every month throughout the year. I think about those light-hued ribbons every time one of my family members has a breast cancer scare. As I get older, this is increasingly frequent. I think pink when I go to the doctor and when I breastfeed. Survivors think pink every single day as they see their mastectomy scars in the mirror, and they try to muster up cheery dinner conversation with acquaintances. We’re not lacking in reminders. We’re lacking in discussion. It’s time to talk pink.
Talk Pink: the Elephant in the Room
Kohl’s reached out to me recently and asked if I’d be willing to foster discussion about breast cancer in their new Talk Pink campaign. I love their message of empowerment. After years of breast cancer awareness it’s still the elephant in the room, and they want to encourage people to talk about it openly.
The statistics are alarming. 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. That’s 2 or 3 of my friends on this bus. Numerous women in any given office. At least several people you know. Death rates from breast cancer are higher than any from any other cancer except lung cancer.
The best defense is a good offense, they say. There are ways to battle this vicious disease through prevention, awareness and ongoing research. Minimize risk by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, limiting alcohol, limiting menopausal hormone use and breastfeeding if you can. Take note of changes in your breasts and have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 and clinical breast exams every three years starting at age 20. Learn about your family health history.
Spread your knowledge to others. Talk pink!