Putting on the pink!

By Sam DiGiovanna

It is likely you will see many agencies wearing pink this month. No, it is not a new uniform they are wearing, it is in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month which is every October. Breast cancer and other cancers are increasing in the fire service as well https://www.bcpp.org/resource/firefighters/

How about you and your agency join in the fight and raise awareness about the importance of screening and early detection of breast cancer. It is estimated that about 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point during their life. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it is found and treated early.  A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early.

Breast Cancer does not just occur with women. Doctors used to think that breast cancer in men was more severe than it was in women, but it now seems that it is about the same. The major problem is that breast cancer in men is often diagnosed later than breast cancer in women. This may be because men are less likely to be suspicious of something strange in that area. It's rare for a man under age 35 to get breast cancer. A man's chance of getting breast cancer goes up with age. Most breast cancers happen to men between ages 60 and 70.

Make a difference and spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved. How can National Breast Cancer Awareness Month make a difference?  Encourage women age 40 and older to talk with their doctors about when to start getting mammograms. Spread the word to family members and friends.

Mammograms are covered by most health insurance programs. You can get a screening mammogram without any out-of-pocket costs. If you are worried about the cost or do not have health insurance, CDC offers free or low-cost mammograms and education about breast cancer.

Talk to your physician and visit https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/breastcancerawareness/index.htm

Pink It Up!

Sam DiGiovanna is a 35-year fire service veteran. He started with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, served as Fire Chief at the Monrovia Fire Department, and currently serves as Chief at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale. He also is VP of Fire Operations at Cordico.com