For decades, breast cancer awareness and education efforts have ruled the month of October.
You’ve seen some of those stories and photos in the Globe over the past few weeks. We’ve spotlighted women who are breast cancer survivors, and in those stories, we’ve helped local breast cancer awareness groups get out the message that early detection of the disease is key to survival.
October is drawing to a close by now, but that message will remain relevant over the next 11 months, right up to the start of the next National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The fact is that breast cancer doesn’t recognize months. It doesn’t stop being a danger to women (and men) just because the calendar changes from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1. A lump can be felt and a diagnosis can be made at any time of the year.
That’s why it’s so important to keep those awareness and education efforts going 12 months a year. It’s great to publicize the need for mammograms and monthly self-exams as potentially life-saving measures in October, but mammograms and self-exams are just as potentially life-saving in November, and December, and January, and ... you get the picture.
Let’s also remember the women who will continue to fight against breast cancer long after October is over and the color pink largely disappears from public view.
You met one of them in Tuesday’s Globe. Rachele’ Davis, of Joplin, is midway through chemotherapy after a breast cancer diagnosis in June, and her battle is scheduled to keep going at least through the new year as she recovers from a double mastectomy planned for Christmastime.
Davis and other current patients will need our support all year long. Perhaps we can remember them on Giving Tuesday, an international day of charitable giving after Thanksgiving, or next summer, when electric bills skyrocket from air conditioning costs, by donating to local breast cancer awareness organizations that help patients with nonmedical bills and other needs.
The fight against breast cancer should be a year-round fight for all of us. It’s the best way to save lives and get to a cure.