The Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) in collaboration with the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Ocean/Monmouth Health Alliance, Long Beach Island Health Department, Barnabas Health Care System, Meridian Health Care System, American Cancer Society and WOBM FM – 92.7 are asking everyone to get out their “pink” to wear for the 10th annual PRETTY IN PINK DAY in Ocean County.
Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, stated, “During the past ten years we have celebrated PRETTY IN PINK DAY, we have found that almost everyone has been touched by breast cancer in some way. It is incredible as we travel around Ocean County on this day to see people dressed in their pink.”
Leslie Terjesen, OCHD Public Information Officer, stated, “We know the importance of early detection regarding breast or any type of cancer. Early detection methods can include self-breast examination, clinical breast exams by a health care provider and mammography. Doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer save thousands of lives each year and many more lives could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests.”
Deb Levinson, Coordinator of the Ocean/Monmouth Health Alliance, said, “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985 and since then, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined. Although this is great progress, there are still many women who do not get their yearly mammography and clinical breast exams.”
Dana O’Connor, Public Health Nurse Supervisor of Long Beach Island Health Department, pointed out that women age 65 and older are less likely to get mammograms than younger women, even though breast cancer risk increases with age. In fact, being a woman and aging are the two biggest risk factors for breast cancer. She added, “If women age 40 and older take advantage of early detection methods – mammography plus clinical breast exam, we could see breast cancer death rates drop, up to 30 percent.”
Freeholder Little continued, “Again, we are asking people to wear pink to create an awareness of breast cancer, remind women to get their mammography and to recognize and celebrate the lives of people who have been touched by breast cancer.”