Six “Pinktober” Ideas for Any Practice

Article Categories: Other & Diseases and Conditions

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also called “Pinktober.” Breast cancer affects nearly everyone: We have all known women whose lives were cut short by a terrible disease. The statistics tell the story:

• 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during her life
• In 2015, almost 232,000 women will learn they have invasive breast cancer
• After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women
• 85% of patients have no family history of breast cancer
• Right now, there are over 2.8 million women who are being treated or have finished treatment for breast cancer

No matter what area of medicine you work in, October is a great time to participate in raising awareness about breast cancer. Besides wearing pink ribbons, what can your practice do? Here are some ideas that you can use:

1. Passionate about Pink: Delta Airlines actually has pink uniforms and ties for flight attendants and pilots to wear during October. Encourage all staff to wear pink scrubs, pink hairbands, pink socks, pink Crocs…how pink can YOU get?

2. Pink Out the Office: You don’t have to paint the walls, but how about making big pink awareness ribbons and hanging them by the reception desk, exam room doors, or restrooms? Most patients are familiar with pink ribbons, so this is an easy way to remind them about Pinktober.

3. Volunteer as a Team: If your hospital, cancer center, or community is having a 5K Run, organize the staff to sign up to help. Create a fun name for your team, coordinate your outfits, and take lots of pictures. Make a display at the office to show what you’re doing for the cause.

4. Celebrate Two Other Events: As part of your October Awareness activities, include National Mammography Day on the third Friday. Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week is the third week of the month.

5. Print information and screening guidelines to distribute to your patients. It’s easy to create sheets with pretty pink borders. Include local resources and events.

6. Check Pinterest for lots of clever printable posters and awareness ideas. The Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society also have pdf pamphlets and flyers that you can easily print.

Promoting breast cancer awareness is simple. When you and your practice show support, the message has more credibility and power to motivate people to learn more or encourage the women in their lives to get screened. If you do something that results in just one woman’s life being saved by early diagnosis, all your efforts will have been worthwhile.

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