City goes pink for breast cancer awareness
This October, Chicago's skyline and buildings will be colored by pink lights, banners and flags in collaboration with the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of breast self-exams.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women in America and the world, but with early detection, this disease can be effectively treated 96 percent of the time.
"Lighting the city pink for the entire month of October serves as a strong reminder and call to action for many women about their health, throughout the Chicago area," said Ashley Hemphill Netzky, the foundation's board chairwoman. "That is why the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation is committed to working with hundreds of buildings each year to light the city, to remind women to regularly check for breast cancer and help save lives."
Titled "Light the Way to Find a Cure," the city lighting campaign invites Chicago buildings, landmarks and businesses to participate by illuminating their structures pink or by displaying pink banners and flags throughout the month of October. This year, the foundation hopes to partner with roughly 200 different sites and organizations, but Hemphill Netzky added that their goal is to eventually have every Chicago area building participate in some way each October.
"Early detection is a key factor in the successful treatment of any breast cancer," said William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO, director of the Maggie Daley Center for Women's Cancer Care for Northwestern Medicine and the Betsy Bramsen Professor of Breast Oncology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
"It is imperative that women understand that self-examination and mammograms should not be done only after experiencing symptoms, which are often a sign that breast cancer has already progressed and even spread."
In addition to lighting the city of Chicago this October, the group will also be hosting the first Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation 5K on Nov. 8. The event will not only serve as another way to raise awareness in Chicago, but all proceeds from the 5K will support innovative breast cancer research and educational programs.
"Reminders to have regular breast exams -- like lighting the city pink and the 5K -- can and do save lives," said Gradishar, who is also a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
Formed in 1985, the foundation partners exclusively with Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center to raise resources for breast cancer research and education. To learn more about the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation 5K, visit lynnsage.org/ or call (312) 926-4274.