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Pink, Pink Everywhere

by Rachel Boone

Image retrieved from on October 31, 2022.

October has been Breast Cancer Awareness month since 1985, but do you really know what this means? Your favorite sports team may wear pink socks or sweat bands. Your local grocery store may use pink bags, or the associates may wear pink ribbons, but why do we want to bring awareness to breast cancer? According to the American Cancer Society (2022), breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Black women are more likely than any other race or ethnic group to die from breast cancer.

So what do we do?

I received stories from four amazing and brave women within the South Bend Empowerment Zone, (SBEZ), who have been affected by breast cancer, either by surviving breast cancer themselves or through a loved one who has survived. All four women told me the same thing: early detection is key to surviving breast cancer. One of the easiest ways to do this is by getting used to your body.

  • Do self exams regularly so that you notice if there are lumps or if things change.

  • Advocate for yourself, and if a doctor refuses to do a test, then ask them to document the refusal. Your OBGYN can do breast exams.

  • Get the mammogram! Don’t be afraid. It could save your life.

  • If cancer runs in your family, you may want to look into being tested for mutations on the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene. Mutations on these genes increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. (

There are multiple resources in the area that help those in treatment for breast cancer.

Thank you:

Courtney King for sharing about her grandmother, a two time breast cancer survivor.

Nicole Johnson for sharing about her mother and the 7 hour treatments she underwent to survive breast cancer.

Adrienne Batteast, a 10 year breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, prevention surgery, correction surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Lynn Burge, a breast cancer survivor who found out she had breast cancer after accidentally being hit with a mop at work and underwent 8 rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, had 21 lymph nodes removed, and a double mastectomy.

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