Thursday, October 21, 2010

Think pink...

Every October, the landscape is blanketed not only with leaves but with everything pink. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, the effort to remind everyone about the dangers of breast cancer and women in particular about the importance of early detection shows up in anything from pink ribbons to men's athletic gear.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began as a collaboration between the American Association of Family Physicians and other sponsors to promote the importance of self- and physician examinations in the hope that fewer women will be caught off guard and fall victim to the cancer. As the years have passed the awareness activities have grown, and the treatment techniques have advanced. London's Daily Mirror posted an article highlighting some of those advances in techniques and treatments for diagnosing and treating breast cancer.

The idea of wearing ribbons for awareness is believed to have started when people wore yellow ribbons during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. It is then somewhat interesting (and really good for women there) that the pink ribbons and wearing of pink has spread to the Middle East.

My friend Matt publishes a blog called the Middle East Alliance, and in his last email, there was a post from a Saudi Arabian female hospital worker talking about breast cancer awareness in her country. The post comes complete with a photo of her custom pink ribbon-edged abaya and pink Coach purse.

Today's last story is from the Rockford, Ill. Register Star. It profiled a local small business owner, Terri Johnston, who uses her successful battle against breast cancer as inspiration in her efforts to help other women deal with the effects of treatment. The pain and nausea from chemotherapy can be dealt with, but Johnston helps women work through the maybe harder issue of losing self-identity with the hair loss.

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