Don’t be surprised this week if you happen to look around the NFL and see the color pink. In fact, don’t be too shocked if you notice some of your most manly of manly players donning pink cleats this weekend when taking the field. Trust me, there is no cause for alarm. Do not for one moment think that the hallowed halls of the NFL have been taken over by women, or get the idea that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is actually planning on having the players forget their pads and put on the tutu’s.
October has been designated Breast Cancer Awareness month, Breast cancer has become one of the most common cancers found in women. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2009, 713,220 women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer, with 27% of them being breast cancer. By the end of the year, it is estimated that 269,800 women in America will die from cancer, 15% of those deaths will be from breast cancer. Most of these deaths would have been preventable with early detection.
Many of us have had personal experiences, at least with a loved one facing the battle of breast cancer. Those in the NFL are no different, most notably with the wife of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, Deanna Favre and the mother of Pittsburgh Steelers OT Max Starks, Elleanor, both survivors of breast cancer. Not every fight with breast cancer is successful. The NFL lost one of it’s own due to this disease when, in 2008, Rams owner Georgia Frontiere had died due to complications from breast cancer. Players have also had personal losses, to include Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend and quarterback Dennis Dixon, who both lost their mothers to breast cancer.
So for this weekend, the NFL will be joining in the effort to remind women (and men) of the importance of breast cancer awareness and the necessity for breast exams by donning the pink that’s been associated with breast cancer. This month, many NFL teams will participate in activities specifically meant for the fight against Breast Cancer. For Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be handing out pink towels to fans, while players and coaches don pink hats and wear pink ribbons at the game. Select players will also be wearing the pink cleats. You can check your favorite teams websites to see what, if anything, they will be doing to help raise awareness for this disease.
You can go pink to save the ta’ta’s simply by becoming aware of breast cancer and knowing that early detection is the key to surviving this disease.
- Encourage your loved ones (or yourself) to learn the correct way to perform a self-breast exam and perform them monthly.
- Encourage your loved ones (or yourself) to have an annual/bi-annual physical that includes an exam by a doctor or certified practitioner.
- If your loved ones (or yourself) is 40 and over, ensure they have regular mammograms.
- Be aware of the risk factors, and be proactive, especially if there’s a history of cancer in the family.
- Most of all, don’t put off visiting a doctor if something that is out of the norm.
- Just as important, men, please do not think you are immune from this disease. In 2009, the ACS estimates that 440 men will lose their lives to breast cancer. So it’s just as important for males to be aware of any changes in their “man boobs” and not be shy to seek a doctors counsel if something appears out of the norm.
- More information about breast cancer can be found at various sites, to include the American Cancer Society