The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


September 24, 2012

Carol Stark: Hoping for day when pink is just a color

Pink used to be my favorite color. I associated it with little girls’ hair ribbons, cake frosting and one of my great-aunt’s pearls.

Not anymore.

Now, the color pink, in my mind, stands as a reminder of breast cancer. And a pink ribbon is a symbol of all those wonderful friends I have lost to a horrible cancer that frankly doesn’t deserve to be represented by beautiful shades of pink.

Not so long ago, perhaps a year or so after my own battle with cancer, a close friend of mine stopped me and asked: “Did you lose one or two?”

I was confused, not understanding his question. Then it dawned on me.

“Neither, I had uterine cancer,” I said, then I tried to laugh a little at his absolute uncomfortable situation. Still, it’s no wonder that when a woman says she has cancer, there’s almost an automatic presumption that its breast cancer.

In 2011, there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, according to statistics provided by Those are women, and men, who had their bodies altered and their lives changed forever. Worse news, in 2011, nearly 40,000 died from breast cancer. And nearly 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed.

If you are a woman living in the United States, your chances are one in eight of getting breast cancer. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).

So, is there any good news about breast cancer cures?


Major advances in the treatment and detection of breast cancer in the last two decades have saved the lives of millions of women. Since 1990, mortality rates have decreased by 3.3 percent a year in women under 50 and by 2 percent a year in older women.

Reasons for the lives saved include advances in screenings, better drugs to treat breast cancer, a standard of care that includes biopsies of more lymph nodes and — finally — awareness among women of all ages that they are at risk.

And that’s where the pink ribbons in October come into place. October is breast cancer awareness month. It’s a time for women and men to educate themselves and make sure they have scheduled mammograms. It’s a time for asking questions.

On Sunday, Sept. 30, The Joplin Globe will publish an eight-page section that focuses on cancer research, treatment and places where those diagnosed with breast cancer can seek help. It will also include a calendar of events for the month of October and a list of ways you can support the cause.

In mid-October, our newspaper will focus on breast cancer survivors and their stories of courage.

Sadly, the last year has not been kind to some of the survivors of the area. They are no longer with us to champion this cause. We will miss them and remember them not as victims, but as fighters.

I hope for the day when I can love pink again.

Carol Stark is editor of The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to her, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email Follow Carol Stark on Twitter @carolstark30.

Text Only
  • Other Views Other Views: Eroding court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance this past week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Travesty

    What a travesty that a terrific young man from Spain is on the verge of deportation even though he has proven his worth in America (Globe, April 13).

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: Astonishing transformation

    The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing.

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: The changing view

    It is heartbreaking to hear the decades old trees (which border on South Pennsylvania in Webb City) cracking and being bulldozed down.

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

     View Results
NDN Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest