EDITOR'S DESK: Forget breast cancer awareness; aim for expertise

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 08:28 PM.

It’s October, you’ve seen the ubiquitous pink ribbons around the city and in the News Bulletin, on television and web advertisements, and you know the importance of breast cancer awareness.

However, do you really know anything about breast cancer?

Knowing someone with breast cancer — his or her diagnosis, concerns and the medical process, and everything in between — ensures you’ll have a firm grasp on the issue. Conversely, hearing sound bites and seeing pink ribbons everywhere contributes to awareness, but it doesn’t make you knowledgeable.

Further, if you know no one with breast cancer, you may not understand the issue as well as you should — and that ignorance, sometimes, can cost you your life. For instance, diagnosis of the disease often follows regularly scheduled mammograms for those affected, and if you don’t understand these routine tests’ importance, you may not frequently receive them.

Outside skin cancer, this is the most common cancer form among our country’s women, with one in eight females developing invasive breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Moreover, it’s the second leading cancer-related death for women — so you might say the stakes are high.

And you may be playing Russian roulette with your health.

Healthy Woman, a North Okaloosa Medical Center resource, hopes to prevent that. Its Pink Heals Tour 2012, 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 18 at the medical center, shines a bright light on breast cancer.

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