As the month of October begins, as the leaves of trees change color, as kids start to choose their Halloween costumes, and families go apple picking, I can’t help but think of the warm colors of red, gold, and orange.
However, there is one color that I cannot disregard as a part of the Fall season… PINK!
Pink ribbons. Pink lipstick. Pink bracelets. Pink nail polish. Pink shirts. Pink purses. Splashes of pink everywhere. Pink! Pink! Pink!
Yes, pink may not be what people think of when they reflect on their memories of the Fall. It may not be the chic color in the Fall fashion runway. But besides being Elle Woods’ favorite color, it is the color for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For the month of October, people across the nation will be participating in the Race for the Cure and the Susan G. Komen 3 Walk for the Cure, buying pink inspired products from Avon, and throwing “Pink days” or parties to raise awareness and money for breast cancer care or research programs.
For women of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States, breast cancer is an extremely important issue, because breast cancer incidence for API women is on the rise.
The Vietnamese American Medical Association cites the following about breast cancer:
- Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in Chinese women.
- It’s the second most common type in Vietnamese women living in the U.S.
- The leading cause of death among Filipina women in the U.S.
- One of the most common forms of cancer in India.
- 3rd and 4th generations of API women have higher rates of developing breast cancer, similar to white women.
Unfortunately, Asian and Pacific Islander women are less likely than other groups of women to get themselves checked. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), women in their 40’s and older should get a mammogram every 1 to 2 years.
If you identify as an API woman or know someone who is, spread the importance of mammograms and direct them to the NCI Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/… and don’t forget to wear pink! Pink is very much an important color this Fall.
– Cristina Balitaan