The Pink Ribbon

Image Source: carolsutton.net

A little pink ribbon…we all know what it means.  The pink ribbon is the worldwide symbol for breast cancer awareness.  Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the pink ribbon is everywhere.  NFL players are wearing pink shoes and reading plays off pink notecards; NASCAR drivers are driving pink cars and sporting pink hats.  But even with all this pink in my face all month, I never really stopped to think about what it all meant.

This past week, I became aware of breast cancer in a way I hoped I would never have to.  My aunt revealed to me that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. 
If caught early, breast cancer is very treatable.  In fact, according to the Breast Cancer Institute, there is a 100 percent five-year survival rate for those whose breast cancer is caught at the earliest stages.  However, my aunt is the type of person who stays away from doctors at all costs.  She is 50 years old and had never had a mammogram until recently.  Now she has been diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer that has spread to her bones…incurable.

My family has always been very private, so this is a hard thing for me to talk about.  I can’t even imagine the fight my aunt is in for.  I feel scared and helpless and just wish I could think of a solution that would make everything better.
Now seeing all the promotion for Breast Cancer Awareness Month has taken on a new meaning.  Some of the advertisements out there are cute and catchy.

But there is nothing cute about breast cancer.  1 in 8 women will contract some form of breast cancer during their lifetime.  Please take a minute today to check yourself for lumps.  Learn about how to do a self-exam here.  If you're over 40 or have a history of breast cancer in your family, talk to your doctor about scheduling a mammogram.  Something so simple (and relatively painless) could save your life.

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