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Breast Cancer Isn’t Pretty, and It’s Not Pink

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn’t understand that October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). Sure, I might have noticed pink around this time of year and maybe given a donation to support women with breast cancer, but October was about Halloween, preparing for winter and the holidays ... not cancer. Well, not anymore.

Rewind two years to October 2010. I was recovering from a bilateral mastectomy and preparing for my second surgery and treatment ... I suddenly began to see pink everywhere. I remember wondering if it was always there and I just hadn't noticed it … or if it was the time of year.

Now, October is the busiest time of year in my professional life. Pink is everywhere … it’s in the media, in print publications, on products with pink ribbons. The public seems singularly focused on breast cancer.

Each one of us has a different feeling about October. Some people cover themselves in pink to remind others of someone they have lost or that a cure is still needed. Others might reject anything pink with a passion.

The point is October is just a month – nothing more, nothing less. What we really should be focusing on is that there is currently no way to prevent breast cancer from occurring and we are still not able to cure the disease. Young women are being diagnosed every day – women just starting their careers, building lives, getting married, happily expecting a child or raising young children. Yes, many women live long lives after breast cancer, but the fact is that young women are still dying of breast cancer every day. This is not acceptable.

If you want to wear pink this October by all means do so – I know I will be – but please also help YSC raise awareness that young women can and do get breast cancer and remind people that breast cancer isn’t all pretty pink ribbons. We need to end to this disease.

#1 YSC is collecting signatures to represent the more than 13,000 young women who are diagnosed annually for NBCC’s petition to the next President (whomever that might be) to make ending breast cancer one of his initiatives. Please sign the petition today and get it into the hands of your family, friends and co-workers.

#2 AND we are going to tell the stories of 31 young women affected by breast cancer to showcase some of the unique issues young women battling this disease face. Please leave these courageous women a message of support on our special Facebook “31 Faces, 31 Days” app and share their stories with your friends.

Because the reality is – young women can and do get breast cancer – and they still die from it every day.

Breast cancer isn't pretty, and it's not pink. Please join me in getting these amazing stories of young women affected by breast cancer out in the public and gathering as many signatures are we possibly can!!!