Oct 152009
 
Authors: Robyn Scherer

For those fellow NFL fans out there, I’m sure you have noticed that the past two weekends, many of the participants in the NFL have worn pink items such as arm bands, brims on caps, shoes and even gloves.

I couldn’t be happier, for several reasons. The first being, that I love pink, and men in pink especially. The second reason is the important one, though. I’ve known people who have had breast cancer, and I support any activity that helps to saves lives.

The NFL’s campaign, A Crucial Catch, promotes breast cancer awareness through annual screenings. October is breast cancer awareness month, and the NFL is allowing the American Cancer Society to promote the importance of finding cancer early on a national stage.

According to http://cancerscreening.com, “one in nine women will develop breast cancer at some time in their life.” Think about the women in your life: Your mother, your grandmother, your aunts and sisters. There is a good chance one of those women in your life will suffer from breast cancer.

One statistic that is not as nationally recognized is the number of men who get breast cancer. However, the likelihood of a man developing breast cancer is one in 1,000. While this number is significantly lower, it is still a problem.

The NFL’s campaign has the potential to get men involved. Most breast cancer campaigns are targeted toward women because they are the main victims, but getting the men involved could help save hundreds of lives.

I don’t have the statistic on the number of men who watch football compared with women, but if you go to any sports bar, the majority of people you will see watching the games are men.

The NFL’s campaign will help men to think about the women in their lives, and help to remind them to get yearly screenings, especially for those women over the age of 40. It’s easy for all people, men and women, to get caught up in life and forget about their health.

There are other national campaigns that are underway in addition to this one with the NFL. The Tough Enough To Wear Pink campaign, sponsored by Wrangler, was one of the first national campaigns to promote the early detection of breast cancer.

The campaign was started in 2004, and according to http://toughenoughtowearpink.com, the campaign has raised more than $5 million to help to find a cure for this disease.

I had the privilege in 2007 to volunteer at the Breast Cancer Awareness booth at The Qualifier at the Fort rodeo, held at the Equine Center here in Fort Collins. Since that time, I have worn the shirt I was given around town and have had random strangers come up to me to thank me for supporting the fight against breast cancer.

According to the http://breastcancer.org, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women behind lung cancer. Early diagnosis is the key to surviving, and campaigns like A Crucial Catch help to remind women of the importance of annual screenings.

If you want to support breast cancer research, there are several ways in our area that you can do so. The Race for the Cure is held in Denver every October. Zeta Tau Alpha, one of the sororities here at CSU, holds a fundraiser every year to benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation.

To all women out there, go get screened and remind your fellow girlfriends to do the same. Men — remind your significant other of the importance of detecting breast cancer early. With support and continued research, you can help support the fight against breast cancer. I’m tough enough to wear pink, are you?

Robyn Scherer is a senior animal sciences major. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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