The Times West Virginian

Opinion

November 1, 2013

Project Pink is example of united effort to fight cancer

You probably noticed the Times West Virginian’s efforts over the past month to promote awareness of breast cancer.

We shared stories from survivors.

We wrote about special awareness campaigns.

We raised money for the American Cancer Society.

Even our newspaper “wore” pink in a special kickoff to the month-long initiative when we printed the Oct. 7 edition on pink newsprint.

And now, Project Pink has come to a close.

The special project was one purposely held in October, which each year is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was a labor of love for the Times West Virginian family, and each of our departments immediately became invested in the mission and spent months planning for it.

Our goal — to promote breast cancer awareness — is so important.

Consider that almost 240,000 women nationwide will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and more than 17 percent will die from it. And while that’s a scary number, it’s even higher in Marion County, where 25 percent of those diagnosed with breast cancer will die.

We can’t just accept those numbers and move on. Why? Because awareness — and the early detection that comes from awareness — can save lives. Knowing the signs of breast cancer can get people to a doctor for treatment. Having an annual mammogram after the age of 40, as the National Cancer Institute recommends, can mean very early detection, which dramatically increases the rate of survival of those who have been diagnosed.

We called it Project Pink because pink, even though it’s often associated with the female gender, has become connected to the effort to inform and educate the entire population about the disease, its prevention and early detection. It’s worn in honor of survivors as well as in memory of those who lost the fight.

Even though we were dedicated to spreading awareness of breast cancer in October, we know it isn’t the only month that is used to promote awareness of an important issue. Today starts a new month, and November is recognized as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Lung Cancer Awareness Month and National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month.

So many people are touched by cancer. And while we don’t need special months to remind us how important it is to keep fighting, raising money for research or working toward a cure, we know awareness and education are crucial to each of those goals.

Knowledge is power. So is a united effort.

Project Pink was a prime example of both.

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