OUR VIEW: Blushing to help save lives

Notice something different about the Citizen today?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Citizen hopes to do its part to help raise awareness by publishing today's newspaper on pink newsprint and asking our readers to "Read Pink." To help in the awareness campaign, a portion of the proceeds from today's paper will be donated to three local organizations that support breast cancer research, treatment and prevention -- the Kimberley Chance Atkins Foundation, Newton Medical Auxiliary/Hope Boutique and LifePoint Community Foundation/Rockdale Medical Center.

According to the Georgia Department of Community Health, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in Georgia. One in eight American women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Women over the age of 60 have the highest rate of breast cancer in Georgia, but the disease is not age-specific. Every year, about 49 women under age 40 die from breast cancer.

Behind these statistics are real women in our community who have faced breast cancer and survived. We will bring you their stories throughout October, sharing their journey from diagnosis to being cancer-free.

The good news they will share with our readers is that breast cancer deaths can be prevented. Early detection is one of the best tools we have to prevent breast cancer deaths because survival for early stage breast cancer is much greater than for later stages of the disease. Thus, awareness becomes a vital key to surviving breast cancer.

Early detection means regular exams and screenings. The American Cancer Society recommends women without symptoms and who are 40 or older to get a mammogram every year. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast cancer exam at least every three years. Women 40 and over should also have a clinical breast exam every year.

So as you "Read Pink" today, make a note to schedule an examination for yourself or remind someone you love to do so. If our Read Pink campaign raises a few dollars and encourages a few women to go for an exam, it will have done its job.

The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Citizen newspapers. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them.