Opinion

Kyle Troutman: Pink out for October

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The color pink has many meanings and interpretations in society, but none are more significant than the colorís use in October each year, aimed at raising awareness for breast cancer.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, started in 1985, is an international campaign that ó largely thanks to all the pink ó is probably the most visible of any health-related awareness day or month throughout the year. The goal is to raise awareness for the disease and funds to research its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

At the Cassville Democrat, we dedicate all our papers to the cause each October, and one specifically, which will come out this Wednesday, highlighting local individuals affected by the disease.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2021, an estimated 281,550 new cases invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., as well as another 49,290 non-invasive cases.

A total of 63 percent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed within the breast, for which the 5-year survival rate is 99 percent. However, this year, an estimated 43,600 women will die from breast cancer.

Other than skin cancer, itís the most common cancer in American women, accounting for 30 percent of all new cancer diagnoses in women.

On average, a new breast cancer diagnosis is made every 2 minutes in the U.S.

The gains made in research over the years have improved the outcomes and the lives of so many women across the country and the world, but more can always be done.

The local efforts to raise funds for the cause are just as visible as all the pink. One of the largest organizations tackling the issue locally is the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO).

The BCFO offers something often overlooked for women battling breast cancer ó meeting basic needs.

Some of those needs are financial, like helping to pay the electric bill, and other needs may be emotional, which is where mentors come into play.

Of all the breast cancer stories I have done on local women, one thing is clear, nothing is more frightening to them or their families than the initial diagnosis. Support and comfort at that time and throughout treatment is paramount to survival. Many women who have survived breast cancer, some multiple times, all say without that love and support, it crosses their minds to give up.

Another local organization that props up the community in those times is Power of Pink, an 11-year-old non-profit that has raised nearly $240,000 for 36 women.

Based in Wheaton, Power of Pink events, specifically the walk, run and auction held annually, are tear-jerkers. Realizing the impact they make on the lives of women fighting to overcome cancer is humbling.

These kinds of organizations and the power of their positivity is something that brings our communities together in times of need and gives women afflicted a light at the end of the dark tunnel of diagnosis and treatment.

We could use more of that kind of compassion and support throughout our area, not only in October.

As we do every year, a portion of ad sales in our breast cancer edition will go to the CoxHealth Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We hope you too can find a way to make a donation, be it monetarily or in kind, and do all you can to support women facing some of the most difficult times of their lives.

Let your pink flags fly!

Kyle Troutman has served as the editor of the Cassville Democrat since 2014. In 2017, he was named William E. James/Missouri Outstanding Young Journalist for daily newspapers. He may be reached at 417-235-3135 or editor@monett-times.com.