Editorial: Pink should make you think

The pages of today’s newspaper are pink in color, which is an effort to help readers think about breast cancer. A number of sponsors have joined the Whidbey News-Times in bringing this issue to the forefront during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the Center for Disease Control, Washington has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the nation. The risk of females getting or dying from breast cancer in this state is somewhere between 125.6 and 135.7 out of every 100,000 women. Other states with similarly high rates are Oregon, New Jersey, Vermont and Massachusetts. States with the lowest rates, ranging from 104.1 and 112.5 per 100,000 women, include Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Utah and Mississippi. Why this discrepancy exists is one of the many troubling questions about breast cancer.

The fight against breast cancer is nothing new. The Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure is held in many places, and the one in Seattle draws many islanders each year. Even closer to home, the Whidbey Island Relay for Life organizations raise thousands of dollars each year in the battle against all kinds of cancers, including breast cancer. For example, the North Whidbey Relay for Life 2010 held at North Whidbey Middle School collected an impressive $216,566 for the American Cancer Society. Many other Whidbey Island organizations and school groups hold special fundraisers each year to battle cancer in general or breast cancer in particular.

This pink newspaper is a reminder that in one way or another, all families and citizens of Whidbey Island are victims of breast cancer, either through family members or friends. Whidbey General Hospital and local doctors deal with it constantly, and support groups have sprung up so victims can get together and discover that breast cancer can be beaten if detected early, and a fulfilling life can follow.

Let this pink newspaper serve as a reminder that breast cancer is a huge danger in our society. Urged loves ones to get their annual mammograph if they haven’t done so already, and support the various efforts to fight cancer. It’s the modern scourge of society; one that with enough research will hopefully go the way of smallpox and polio — into the history books.

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