When the cover of Sports Illustrated Kids arrives with a pink cover, you know that Breast Cancer Awareness Month has moved beyond mainstream. From store windows to football fields, pink is in. And well it should be.
We at the Jewish Exponent are doing what we can to promote awareness of this potentially deadly but highly treatable disease that continues to plague 1 in 8 American women. The risk to Ashkenazi Jewish women is even higher, given the increased likelihood of an abnormal BRCA gene, which elevates the risk.
Who among us doesn't know or love someone who's been struck by — or at least had a scary brush with — breast cancer? The numbers are mind-boggling. Fortunately, with greater awareness, more women are getting regular mammograms. Let's hope that everyone knows by now that early detection increases the chances of survival.
The Exponent is bringing attention to the issue with two special sections devoted to cancer-related issues this month. The paper donates a percentage of advertising revenue from these sections to Sharsheret, an organization devoted to supporting Jewish women and their families facing breast cancer.
Until the day comes when researchers find a way to prevent breast cancer, we must continue to be vigilant. While pink has now taken its rightful place alongside the orange and red colors of fall, cancer awareness needs to extend beyond the October landscape. Just as cancer itself knows no seasonal bounds, our attention to healthy living, self-exams, doctors' visits and mammograms must continue throughout the year.