October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in case the sea of pink everywhere you turn has not reminded you. This month I have seen some great efforts in my small town to raise money for various breast cancer organizations and turn our tiny community pink. I have seen pink hair, pink feathers in hair, pink plastic bracelets, pink socks and pink ribbons everywhere.
My own collection of T-Shirts gets quite a work out this month. I have “Save the Ta Ta’s,” a plain white with a pink ribbon and my favorite, “Boobies Rock.” Of course the lettering is in pink. I like pink.
All of this pink is great and while I get why fundraisers have to come up with catchy slogans to sell stuff and raise money for their cause, it is important to remember that breast cancer awareness is not about sexualizing women and their breasts. It is about cancer and saving lives. While women can feel that their breasts are an important part of what makes them feel sexy and it is completely understandable that women who face breast cancer often struggle with how it may affect their sexuality, saving their lives and helping them realize that there is life (and sex) after breast cancer is a crucial part a holistic view of breast cancer awareness. Because of this, I hope the goal of bringing awareness about breast cancer facts is not only reached, but surpassed.
- 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with some form of invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives.
- That means it is estimated that in 2011 there were 230,400 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in theUnited States. Add that to the estimated 57,650 cases on non invasive breast cancer that were expected.
- Although deaths from breast cancers have been decreasing, in 2011 we expect to lose 39,520 women to the disease.
- More than 1 in 4 cancers found in women are breast cancers.
- Death rates from breast cancer in women are second only to lung cancer
- The most common factors associated with risk of breast cancer are things we can’t help, gender and aging.
- Let’s not forget the men. In 2010 it was expected that 1,970 cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in males.
This all seems pretty grim. But the news is not all bad.
- In 2011 there are over 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
- Decreases in deaths from breast cancer can be attributed to early detection, treatment advances and increased awareness.
So as October draws to a close, remind your girlfriends, wives, mothers, sisters and any other female you know to do their self exams and schedule their mammograms if they are over age 40. Take advantage of the world while it is pink this month and seek out educational materials and organizations that deal with breast cancer services. But don’t let it end when October turns to November and the pages of the calendar keep turning. Get involved and stay involved and remember that it is not just boobies that rock. Women rock!
**Buy from our Pink Ribbon Boutique this month, receive a free bottle of lube, and we’ll donate 15% of your purchase to breast cancer research.**