For yet another year, Tallahassee adds Pink to the autumnal colors as the city celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Each October, local businesses and organizations "paint the town pink" to spread hope for finding a cure for breast cancer. Beginning Oct. 4, expect to see pink lemonade stands, balloons and decor popping up on every other corner.
Near the intersection of Tennessee and Monroe Streets, a trio of executives set up shop in front of Hotel Duval. While they've just about sold out of their themed pink shirts, they still have virgin pink lemonade for curbside customers and a more spirited version available on their rooftop longue. Pam Monnier, the hotel's Catering & Events Director, supports the cause on behalf of a loved one who survives a double mastectomy. "We've had a lot of survivors come by today and just say thank you," she says. "I think for them to be able to see people in the community and their involvement, it's really encouraging."
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the leading type of new cancer cases among women. A recent study estimates 252,710 women in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer during 2017, with 18,170 of those expected in Florida. But, trends suggest that more women are surviving.
Mary Jenkins, 80, sat on a cushioned bench a few steps from the valet, catching her breath after her visit to the Woman's Imaging Center at Tallahassee Radiology Associate's. She was diagnosed in 2003.
"I thank my dear Lord every night," she says. Jenkins chose to have a mastectomy from a variety of treatments. Her only fuss is having to coordinate the different sides of her clothing when deciding what to wear. Otherwise, she says she and her husband celebrate with the rest of the city. "It's such a relief to know that it's not there."
Radiologists discovered Jenkins tumor, but, she still agrees that self exams are important, and early detection is key.
Dr. Amy Haddock, OB/GYN at North Florida Women’s Care, says, “The self breast exam is an important part of breast self-awareness. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends breast self awareness as a way to become familiar with the anatomy of the breasts so that in the event that there is a change, the change will be noted quickly and the patient will be able to have it evaluated sooner than later by her OB/GYN. Also, it is important to note that, for patients younger than age 50, 70% of breast cancer cases are found by the patients.”
Tallahassee residents can find more information about breast cancer detection and awareness at www.cancer.org, or just about anywhere pink lemonade is sold.