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