Pink, pink and more pink. You would have to be half asleep if you were not seeing the color pink all over town — and even on the football field. Even many national landmarks throughout the world are lit with the color pink, supporting awareness about the second leading cause of death for women. This coming week, Central will be going “Pink.” Our service tech Installers will be wearing pink shoe covers when they come to your home this week. We will also be donating 1 percent of all our service calls this week as well as asking if you would like to donate as well.
Almost 30 years ago, October became National Breast Cancer Awareness month to promote mammography as the most effective tool to prevent breast cancer. And many would agree, since the 1990s, breast cancer has been declining and attribute early detection as the key to this decline.
As I was doing my research for this article, I came across the beginning of this pink revolution. The Susan G. Komen foundation in the fall of 1991 handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. Soon to follow, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation was founded and established the pink ribbon as its symbol. Evelyn Lauder, breast cancer survivor, was one of the founders of this foundation. As the senior vice president of Estee Lauder, she was able to use their brand as a sounding board for this cause. The pink ribbons were distributed in their stores and became the status symbol.
Why pink? It really all started because of the red ribbons for AIDS awareness; and breast cancer primarily being a woman’s disease, pink only seemed natural. For most women, from the time we are little girls, pink means sweet and this ribbon has become the symbol of goodwill towards women. Wearing this simple, easy-to-copy pink ribbon says we care about the well-being of all women.
While researching the origin of Breast Cancer Awareness, I also came across an interesting article by Peggy Orenstein, a contributing writer for the New York Times, called “Our feel-good war on breast cancer” — rather interesting and worth the read.
Peggy is also a breast cancer survivor. At the age of 35, she was treated with a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation. Although it was the mammogram that detected her early stage of cancer, she now no longer believes that early detection of cancer by mammograms is actually preventing women from dying from cancer.
In the late 90s, just after Ms. Orenstein had her bout with breast cancer treatment, the National Institute of Health made headlines when suggesting that women really did not need to have mammograms until they entered — what I like to call — “The Fabulous Fifties.” Early detection, like in Ms. Orenstein’s case, may never actually develop into a death wish. Younger women have much denser breast tissue and are subject to several more false positives — leading to unnecessary biopsies and treatments. Hmmmmmmmmmm…
As a woman myself who has been having a mammogram every year since I have turned 40, I consider myself very fortunate to have not had to go through what Ms. Orenstein did. However, if something were detected, I, too, would immediately want to get rid of the possibility, even if it would likely not develop into something more serious.
Again, about a year ago, another study came out in the New England Journal of Medicine, also suggesting similar findings as above. It somewhat reminded me of the story of a woman and her daughter who asked her Mom, “Why do you always cut off both ends of the roast before you put it in your roasting pan?” The woman said, “That is the way my mother always did it.” So the next time she spoke with her mother, the daughter asked her the same question again. Her mother smiled and said, “Because my roasting pan was too small to fit the roast into the pan so I cut the ends off.”
For myself, my personal thoughts on mammograms: Even if I was not in my “Fabulous Fifties,” I choose the opportunity of prevention.
As always, your Comfort is our Central concern, call us for all your heating cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs at 756-6656.