Editorial: Why Our Flag Is Pink for the Month

One of the nice things about having a paper with an editorial page is that it gives you a soapbox. You can take a stand on an issue, comment on a business or community leader, or support or oppose a cause. It gives you a voice. We are supporting a cause. For the month our flag, the title of our publication on the top of page one, will be pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to bringing awareness to this awful disease.

The Facts: breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Think about that the next time you are in the supermarket or at a school function or at Tod’s Point. In the United States alone, it is estimated that every year more than 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Those numbers are too high.

There is some good news. Since 1990, the death rate from breast cancer has been declining. This is due to earlier and better screening that allows detection of the cancer earlier and treatment options that are continually improving. And that is a main point of Breast Cancer Awareness Month—to make sure that women are aware of the disease and how to be screened for it early, so that if there is an issue it can be treated as soon as possible, which will offer the best chances for recovery.

In Greenwich our support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is very visible. As you go about town this month, look for pink. A pink flag was raised at Town Hall on Oct. 1. Walk down Greenwich Avenue and notice all of the stores in support with pink placards in their windows. There are pink yard signs at intersections around town calling for awareness.

In March of 1996, Mary Waterman and five friends founded The Breast Cancer Alliance here in Greenwich. Mary was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She would not have long to live, but she wanted to create a local organization that would have an impact on heightening awareness of the benefits of early detection as well as raise money to support research and education. Over the course of 20 years, the Alliance has done much educate Greenwich. Every April it has a march down Greenwich Avenue. There is also an annual golf outing. And later this month is the Alliance’s 20th annual luncheon and fashion show. Andrea Mitchell, a notable journalist who is herself a breast cancer survivor, will be the guest speaker. We expect it to be a sea of pink.

It is great that we have month dedicated to bringing awareness to breast cancer. We think it is even better that we have the Breast Cancer Alliance here in town working throughout the year, every year, to educate and inform on this life altering topic. We all know someone who has had breast cancer; a mother, aunt, sister, daughter. There are even men who have been diagnosed with the disease. More and more are being treated early enough so that they go on to lead vibrant lives. We must continue to ensure these trend lines go down. Gone are the days when our mothers and grandmothers did not know enough to seek a diagnosis or treatment.

Thank you Breast Cancer Alliance for turning Greenwich pink for the month. Keep up the great job. As for the rest of us? We should make sure we keep this conversation going throughout the year

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