Atlantis encouraged employees to don the color pink or at least accent with pink on Friday and every Friday during the month to heighten the awareness of breast cancer during October, which is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Recognizing the power of pink, Atlantis staff were given pins and indulged in pink treats – cupcakes and cotton candy – as they entered the resorts’ cafeteria.
Tameka Forbes, Atlantis senior vice president of human resources said they partnered with Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group to bring awareness to employees around the importance of testing, and giving them the information they need to manager their personal health. and in terms of ensuring we have support for our employees ensuring they are getting the information that they need so that they can contribute to our workforce in a meaningful way as well.
“Cancer is a disease that I’m well aware of, I lost my mother to cancer,” said Forbes. “My mother died of colon cancer, but breast cancer is preventable like colon cancer in terms of testing. This is personal to me and prevention is very important. This is another educational initiative by Atlantis one that we continue to do over and over every year because it is very important to us.”
The women of Sister Sister Breast Cancer Group were on hand to speak to the employees about the importance of self-examination and screening for breast cancer.
Symptoms people need to be aware of include a new lump in the breast or underarm (armpit); thickening or swelling of part of the breast; irritation or dimpling of breast skin; redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast; pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area; nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood; any change in the size or the shape of the breast; and pain in any area of the breast.
They are also reminded that no breast is typical, and what is normal for one woman may not be normal for another woman. The way a person’s breasts look and feel can be affected by getting their period, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. Breasts, they say, also tend to change with age.
Women are also encouraged to have themselves screened for breast cancer, before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention says although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Women are encouraged to talk to their doctor about which breast cancer screening tests – mammogram, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – are right for them, and when they should have them.
Other breast exams include a clinical breast exam by a doctor or nurse, who uses their hands to feel for lumps or other changes; and each individual being self-aware of how their breasts look and feel, so they can notice symptoms such as lumps, pain, or changes in size that may be of concern.
In October, breast cancer and awareness are heightened. One of the most recognizable symbols, the breast cancer ribbon, has become the universal symbol of breast cancer, a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control.
The pink ribbon illustrates the cause in raising awareness and bringing together women in solidarity. From a simple piece of ribbon affixed with a pin, a person is able to show their support for someone battling breast cancer, and the hope for a brighter future.
There are different types of breast cancer. The most common types of breast cancer are invasive ductal carcinoma, and invasive lobular carcinoma, according to the CDC.
In ductal, the cancer cells begin in the ducts, then grow outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
In invasive, cancer cells begin in the lobules (a gland that makes milk), then spread from the lobules to the breast tissues that are close by. The invasive cancer cells can also spread to the other parts of the body.
The type of breast cancer depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer, according to the CDC.
Globally, in the fight against breast cancer and the search for a cure for this insidious disease, the pink ribbon, the breast cancer symbol, is used by all countries in various shapes and sizes as the symbol of joy and hope.
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed to recognize and keep the awareness, women and men are encouraged to recognize the symptoms that may indicate breast cancer, and to be cognizant of the fact that different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. And that some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all.