Support breast cancer awareness

Published 10:48 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It was fun seeing Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu, one of the toughest defensive players in the NFL also known for his long, thick, curly hair, wearing Breast Cancer pink gloves and cleats in a game earlier this month.

Turns out the Steelers weren’t alone.

For the second consecutive year, NFL players have worn pink to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink ribbons have been spotted in the middle of the fields along with NFL logos and on goal posts.

Email newsletter signup

If you’ve paid attention, you may have seen game balls with pink ribbon decals; players wearing pink wristbands, chin straps, sideline caps, helmet decals, eye shield decals, captains’ patches, sideline towels and quarterback towels; pink coins used for the coin toss; pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel; and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives.

Officials wore caps with pink ribbons, pink wristbands and pins, and used pink whistles.

The NFL’s program to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month is called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives.” It reminds women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram.

Locally, at least one high school has joined the effort. Lakeland students are working on a campaign to raise money by selling opportunities to wear a hat to school, and they’ve got other plans in the works, as well. At King’s Fork High School, students held a breast cancer awareness day in conjunction with their Homecoming Week activities.

Elsewhere in the community, Main Street Physicians offered free clinical breast exams early in the month, highlighting the importance of annual screenings to early detection and early detection to saved lives.

The American Cancer Society recommends that a woman should get a baseline mammogram at the age of 35 and then have annual mammograms beginning at the age of 40. Those exams should be supplemented by regular self-exams, experts say.

Such vigilance might not be convenient, but it could save your life. Whatever else you might do to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, taking the steps to take care of yourself ought to be part of your plan.