Column: Going pink to fight breast cancer

• Originally published on Oct. 26, 2010

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As such, we wanted to do something special to support those women and men fighting against breast cancer, as well as their families. Football players wear pink socks and gloves during games. Pink bracelets, T-shirts and other apparel are sold at fundraisers and then worn throughout the community. What could we do to express our support?

Putting a pink ribbon on our cover would be feasible, but that didn’t quite seem like enough. So, after some discussion, we decided to print the entire paper in pink and devote that issue to breast cancer awareness.

As part of devoting today’s issue to breast cancer awareness, we wanted to tell stories about those who have fought breast cancer. (We have two such stories on pages 13 and 18). We wanted to share our own stories regarding breast cancer. And we wanted to share the latest in breast cancer research with readers, which you can find on page 6.

Some in our newsroom have been more affected by breast cancer throughout their family, and I wanted to mention them, as well.

Features reporter John Puterbaugh recently lost an aunt to breast cancer that had spread to her brain (you can read John’s touching column about it on page 14) and Batavia reporter Eric Schelkopf’s sister currently is fighting breast cancer (you can read Eric’s story about the good that the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center does on page 16).

They certainly aren’t alone. Many families have someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 207,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women have been found this year and about 40,000 women have died from breast cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

The chance of a woman being diagnosed with breast cancer in her life is a little less 1 in 8, according the American Cancer Society, and the chance of dying from it is about 1 in 35. There are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

Scary statistics, but help is on the way as money continues to pour into research to help fight breast cancer, as well as into programs that help educate women and men on how to detect breast cancer early to give people the best chance at fighting it.

Printing a newspaper in pink won’t cure breast cancer, but hopefully it will help raise awareness even more. The more we all can band together against breast cancer, the better for everyone.

Joe Grace is the editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at jgrace@kcchronicle.com or call him at 630-845-5368.

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