By Mary O’KEEFE
Webster’s Dictionary defines an army as “a body of persons organized to advance a cause.”
This is exactly what Glendale Adventist Hospital is doing with a colorful twist.
An “Army of Pink” has been formed to fight breast cancer. The weapon in this battle will be education, outreach and fundraising for research with an election-day flavor. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; this combined with the fact that California elections are taking place this year is a perfect opportunity to merge that voting spirit with cancer awareness. Instead of just donating money people will be asked to vote online for a member of the army that they think looks best in pink.
The captain of the Glendale Adventist Army of Pink is Glendale City Councilmember Laura Friedman. Joining her are Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian, Glendale Community College Board President Tony Tartaglia, Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, Glendale Police Chief Ron DePompa, California Transportation Commissioner Larry Zarian, Heathline host Gregory Zarian and GAMC Cancer Services Medical Director Boris Bagdasarian.
The voting begins Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 26. For every vote cast GAMC has committed to donate $1, up to 10,000 votes. The funds raised will go toward the 2010 Glendale Relay for Life. In addition, the hospital along with each candidate will host low cost digital mammograms for women in need.
Keeping in the election year spirit each candidate will have their campaign tools, including a video, yard signs, flyers and other ways to reach voters. They will even have a campaign manager, a hospital employee.
Voters can also choose to donate money to GAMC support programs provided free to any cancer patient. The programs include one-on-one support sessions for cancer patients and their families, wigs for women going through chemotherapy, and dance/fitness/yoga/skin care classes.
According to the American Cancer Society, “breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.”
Statistics from the American Cancer Society include that about 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2010. About 54,010 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed. (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer.)
The death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1990 in part due to the aggressive outreach programs like the Army of Pink that bring awareness to the importance of early detection.
American Cancer Society suggests women 40 years old and older should have a screening mammogram every year. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of their regular health exam by a health professional at least every three years. After 40, women should have a breast exam by their doctor every year. Women at high risk for breast cancer should get an MRI and a mammogram every year.
All women should talk to their doctor about breast cancer and ask questions and voice concerns.
For more information on the Army of Pink at Glendale Adventist or to vote, beginning Oct. 1, for the candidate who looks best in pink go to www.GlendaleAdventist.com/armyofpink.
To donate money via mail: Healthcare Foundation at GAMC, 1509 Wilson Terrace, Glendale, CA 91206. Write Army of Pink on the memo line.