You may have noticed that the Whidbey News-Times is pink. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record have teamed up with merchants, organizations and hospitals to bring the message home to Whidbey Island in these special editions of the newspapers.
Even as “pink days” become commonplace each October and a proliferation of campaigns work to bring awareness to the disease and raise funds for research, it’s still the second most diagnosed cancer in women, just after skin cancer. The disease touches every community. Last year, doctors at Whidbey General Hospital diagnosed 47 cases of breast cancer, which accounted for a third of all cancers diagnosed that year.
All women, and a few men, are at risk of breast cancer. It’s scary stuff, but there are common-sense steps women can take to protect themselves. Elisa Del Rosario of Komen Puget Sound points out that early detection is the key to survival. All women over 40 years old should have regular mammograms.
Fortunately, the North Whidbey Soroptimists are working to make access to mammograms available for women in that age group. The Soroptimists restarted a mammogram fund two years ago to help women living on North Whidbey for whom diagnostic mammography services are unaffordable.
One concrete step residents can do to help in the fight against breast cancer on Whidbey Island is to donate to the fund, which is managed by the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation.
Donations can be made to Soroptimists of Oak Harbor, PO Box 893, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.
For more information, email the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.