Cooler temperatures, pumpkin flavored food and drinks, Halloween costumes and pink. Lots of pink. Pink everything.
And while we see the color everywhere we turn, the facts prove that breast cancer awareness has made a difference: Since 1989, breast cancer death rates have declined by 39 percent, contributing to more than 322,600 lives saved. And while breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death for women (after lung cancer), there are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Although progress has been made, there is still much to be done.
During October, the American Cancer Society hosts more than 200 breast cancer walks nationwide. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer united more than 1.2 participants in 2017 and raised over $60 million. The annual event will take place in Tucson on Sunday, Oct. 21. at Armory Park, and thousands are expected to attend in their best pink attire.
Funds raised at this noncompetitive, family-friendly event enable the American Cancer Society to save lives from breast cancer by investing in groundbreaking research; providing free, comprehensive information and support to those touched by the disease; and helping people take steps to reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it's most treatable.
Because of the support from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events, the American Cancer Society is funding 159 breast cancer research grants nationwide, totaling $59 million. The Society's 24/7 helpline handled more than 1.34 million calls and live chats from concerned patients and those seeking support, information and resources last year. More than 340,000 rides to treatment and other cancer-related appointments were provided to cancer patients in 2017; and cancer patients and caregivers utilized nearly 452,000 nights of free lodging at more than 30 Hope Lodge communities, and more than 49,000 nights of free or reduced lodging through hotel partners, saving them approximately $50 million in 2017.
Join the American Cancer Society to save lives at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Tucson on Oct. 21 at Armory Park (22 S. Fifth Ave.) More information is available at MakingStridesWalk.org/TucsonAZ.
Brittany Conklin is the director of communications for the south region of the American Cancer Society.