No, area Missouri residents are not blushing; they are turning pink in anticipation of Saint Francis Medical Center’s annual Pink Up Cape™ campaign to increase breast cancer awareness. The Medical Center is expecting more than 500 people at a special campaign kickoff for cancer survivors at the Medical Center in September.
“Our Pink Up Cape campaign unites the Medical Center and our community,” says Trinka Hileman, RN, BSN, MBA, director of radiology services and Womancare at Saint Francis. “It helps prepare people for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.”
During the event, Saint Francis will celebrate cancer survivors’ courage with a community Pink Up Cape choir, a special appearance from singer Candy Coburn and pink fireworks to cap off the night. “Everything is done in pink that night,” says Hileman. “It is really powerful.”
About one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime, making breast cancer the second-most diagnosed cancer in women next to lung cancer. Women are not the only victims – more and more men are receiving male breast cancer diagnoses as well.
“Breast cancer is a curable disease if we catch it early,” says James Borders, MD, radiologist at Saint Francis. “Today, only 51 percent of women receive their annual mammograms. If we could increase that number, imagine how many deaths we could prevent.”
The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 and older schedule an annual mammogram for early breast cancer detection. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast examination at least once every three years.
For the second year in a row, as part of the Pink Up Cape campaign, Saint Francis has arranged for the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge – which links Cape Girardeau to East Cape Girardeau, Ill., across the Mississippi River – to have special pink lights for the entire month of October.
“During the month of October, people in the region will be seeing pink everywhere,” says Hileman. “By taking an active role and spreading the word about breast cancer screening, you will truly be making a difference.”
For more information, visit www.sfmc.net or call 573-331-3996.