As you walk into your favorite department store and start scanning the shelves, you start to notice a lot of pink: pink scarves, pink pins, pink bracelets, pink socks, and pink shirts, pink everything! That can only mean one thing: Everyone is getting ready for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

A lady eating dinner. Affecting approximately 1 in 8 women, and even 1 in every thousand men, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer. Spreading awareness and amplifying research efforts have resulted in continuously rising survival rates, now making breast cancer one of the most treatable forms of the disease. 

It was 45 years ago that the first Breast Cancer Awareness Month was observed in the United States as part of the American Cancer Society’s effort to promote mammography. Initially, the aim was to increase the early detection of breast cancer by encouraging women to have mammograms. Over the years, the focus has widened and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is now as much about raising money for breast cancer research as it is about raising awareness.

With the founding of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993, the pink ribbon was chosen to symbolize the disease and aid as a visual tool to help spread awareness. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was the first to go beyond the ribbon and adopt the color pink as the symbolic hue for breast cancer. In 1991, the foundation handed out pink ribbons and visors to every breast cancer survivor and participant in their New York City Race for the Cure. 

A woman sitting and smiling. Why has the color pink become synonymous with breast cancer awareness? Perhaps because pink is a symbol of health, healing, and empowerment. Or maybe because pink has a soothing effect on people and is known to encourage a positive, optimistic outlook on life. Pink also conveys female strength and suggests nurturing, tenderness, compassion, and understanding. The color of universal love for oneself and of others, most importantly, pink is a symbol of hope.

We will be doing our part at Sonoma Hills by encouraging everyone to wear pink throughout the month of October. We will hold our annual “Pink Out Day” on Friday, October 23. Pink bracelets will be available for all residents and pink balloons will adorn the lobby and dining area. Be sure to “get your pink on” and spread awareness during the month of October.

 Two ladies eating together.

(Photos are from “Pink Out Day” 2019)

Blog written by Debi Kopman, Life Enrichment Director for Sonoma Hills Retirement