It doesn’t have to be Oc­to­ber to get your­self checked

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The month of Oc­to­ber draws to an end a week from to­day and we would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to sin­cerely thank all those who con­trib­uted in any way, shape or form – no mat­ter how small or large – to the Pink Oc­to­ber cam­paign.

Yes­ter­day’s Walk for Life proved to be an­other suc­cess­ful event that raised aware­ness and funds for the fight against the scourge of breast can­cer. Heart­felt thanks goes out to all those who or­gan­ised and par­tic­i­pated in the event.

The month of Oc­to­ber over re­cent years has taken on a new sig­nif­i­cance, and this news­pa­per has em­braced the con­cept be­cause, beyond the tragedy of breast can­cer and the lives it af­fects and takes ev­ery year, there is hope: breast can­cer is both de­tectable and treat­able – if it caught early enough.

Es­pe­cially dur­ing the month of Oc­to­ber, pink ex­presses sup­port for women un­der­go­ing treat­ment for breast can­cer, recog­nises those who sur­vived their bat­tle with the dis­ease, hon­ours those who died and re­minds ev­ery­one that steps can be taken and more must be done to keep breast can­cer from striking in the first place.

The vic­tims of breast can­cer need sup­port, and not just from loved ones, friends, health­care pro­fes­sion­als and re­searchers.

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They need sup­port from you, and that is the un­der­ly­ing pur­pose of Pink Oc­to­ber.

Breast can­cer is the most com­mon can­cer in women and, sadly, about one in 10 women can be ex­pected to de­velop the dis­ease over the course of their lives. Risk fac­tors such as age, the age at which a woman de­liv­ers their first child, fam­ily his­tory and menopause ac­count for nearly 50 per cent of the risk, while en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors also play an im­por­tant part.

When it comes to the scourge of breast can­cer, aware­ness is of paramount im­por­tance since pre­ven­tion and early de­tec­tion are, as with all can­cers, the best de­fence.

And when you con­sider the risk fac­tors for breast can­cer – and there are many – there is one key el­e­ment over which women do have agency: early de­tec­tion. And rais­ing that aware­ness is what the month of Oc­to­ber, Pink Oc­to­ber, is all about.

As such, we en­cour­age ev­ery­one to get in­volved in at least one of these ac­tiv­i­ties and to lend their sup­port to the fight against breast can­cer.

But it does not, and should not, stop there. Dur­ing Pink Oc­to­ber peo­ple don pink rib­bons to hon­our sur­vivors, to re­mem­ber those lost to the dis­ease, and to sup­port the progress be­ing made to de­feat breast can­cer.

We en­cour­age read­ers to wear a pink rib­bon lapel pin, which has be­come an in­ter­na­tional sym­bol to in­crease aware­ness about breast can­cer. This news­pa­per and its Sun­day sis­ter edi­tion are sport­ing a pink rib­bon on our front page mast­heads this month; we strongly en­cour­age all read­ers to show their sup­port in a sim­i­lar fash­ion and join in the fight against breast can­cer by do­nat­ing to­ward the cam­paign, by tak­ing part in the re­main­ing ac­tiv­i­ties this month or by sim­ply spread­ing the word.

That is be­cause of the sim­ple fact that ev­ery life lost to breast can­cer is one life too many.

Yes, Oc­to­ber is nearly over but the re­al­ity is that this is a cam­paign that does not last a mere 31 days – it is a year­long, 24/7 bat­tle to en­cour­age all women to get them­selves checked, and checked reg­u­larly. Fail­ure to do so is truly a ques­tion of life and death for so many women and we are cer­tain that no one would like to find them­selves on their deathbed fac­ing the in­evitable sim­ply be­cause they could not be both­ered enough to book them­selves an ap­point­ment and to get them­selves to that ap­point­ment. Please do so and en­cour­age ev­ery woman you know to fol­low suit be­cause, af­ter all, lives are at stake.

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