by Eva Potter
It’s that time of year again—National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a month of celebrating breast cancer survivors and continuing the fight against this dreaded disease. It’s also the time for women all across the nation to remember to make their breast screening appointments to prevent and diagnose breast cancer in its early stages.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008, over 210,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and over 40,500 women died from breast cancer. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, regardless of race or ethnicity. And remember, while rare, breast cancer does affect less than 1 percent of the male population — signs and treatments are similar.
According to NBCAM.org, “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.”
For the past 25 years, October has been all about awareness, education and the empowerment of women to encourage them to take charge of their own breast health. As a result, early diagnosis has led to higher survival rates.
There are many organizations and groups holding fundraisers this time of year to help fund breast cancer research, and a special local destination — Pumpkinville — is even selling pink pumpkins and other pink merchandise to raise money for this cause.
Pumpkinville, owned by the Pawlowski family, has grown pink pumpkins for the second year to raise funds for breast cancer research and prevention. The pink pumpkins grown at Pumpkinville are a flatter, more ribbed pumpkin. While they aren’t huge in size, they can be carved and their deep-orange, sweet flesh can be used for pies, soup and other fall treats.
Last year, Pumpkinville donated more than $3,000 to breast cancer organizations.
This year, a portion of the proceeds of this year’s pink pumpkin sales will be donated to the Pink Pumpkin Foundation. The foundation oversees donations and ensures that funds go directly to reputable organizations with the highest percentage of dollars spent on actual research.
Funds are raised with the help of a network of nationwide pumpkin growers who have committed to donating a share of proceeds from the sales of the pink pumpkins. Find more information at www.pinkpumpkinpatch.org.
Ladies, it’s time to check your medical records and make sure you are up to date with your breast exams. If not, book your screening exams now! Some area health providers even offer free or low-cost mammograms for the uninsured.
Then take a ride to Pumpkinville to snag one of those gorgeous pink pumpkins for your dining room table and help raise money to fight breast cancer.
Pumpkinville is located at 4844 Sugartown Rd. in Great Valley and is open through Oct. 31, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. daily. Admission is free with a small fee for some activities. For more information, visit www.pumpkinville.com.