By: Riley Hendersen
Wear a pink breast cancer ribbon, and you can raise awareness. Just by having your ribbon pinned on, or by having a pink ribbon in the window of your vehicle or in a public workplace, you remind women to get regular screening, to do self-exams, and to talk to their doctors.
Maybe the ubiquitous pink ribbon’s best purpose is to indicate solid social support to those who are fighting breast cancer. Research indicates that social support has significant positive impact on outcomes for patients.
Social support is sometimes experienced as a subjective feeling of connection to others. One recent study showed that women who had strong social connections to others were able to function better as they made their way through treatment, and experienced less anxiety, depression, and pain. In other words, not being isolated in the midst of crisis enhanced quality of life and helped women in the study cope.
It’s such a small gesture to wear or display a pink ribbon. This little ribbon reminds is that somewhere, someone’s life is at stake. Sometimes people need a reminder, since over 40,000 women die every year in the U.S.
It’s the little things in life that make the difference. The first time you see the pink ribbon, you ask, what is that? Often that is the first time you ask about breast cancer, if your life or that of a loved one has not yet been touched by it.
The pink ribbon is an icon of hope for women. It not only reminds women to have regular screenings, it encourages everyone to give to research and other non-profit agencies, such as the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, agencies on the front lines of the struggle to educate, treat and promote awareness.
Every year, the “Race for the Cure” in over 100 U.S. cities and towns. Millions of Americans participate in this awareness-raising event, a five-K run/fitness walk. The sight of hundreds, even thousands, of women walking side by side in their pink caps and with their pink ribbons on their chests is undeniably the most hopeful image one could witness.
The American Cancer Society annually sponsors “Relay for Life,” a mobilizing awareness event where the pink ribbon is prominently displayed. Nationwide, over 4,800 teams of 8 to 15 survivors and supporters perform a 24-hour relay circling a track, with survivors taking the first laps. It’s a time of sharing and fun as well, as participants camp out with tents and sleeping bags with the goal of keeping one team member on the track at all times.
Women can survive breast cancer, a disease that strikes one out of eight American women, and even some men. But women need hope to heal themselves and to get through diagnosis and treatment. Women need support, something that anyone can provide by wearing a pink breast cancer ribbon!
For more information on breast cancer try visiting www.breastcanceranalysis.com – a website that specializes in providing breast cancer related information and resources including information on the breast cancer ribbon.