We had to go pink to sound the alarm about breast cancer

In Illinois, an estimated 11,560 women will be diagnosed with the disease this year.

SHARE We had to go pink to sound the alarm about breast cancer

The cover of the Friday, Oct. 18 edition.

Sun-Times Media.

Friday’s print edition of the Sun-Times was shaded pink — and we heard from a lot of you about that.

Some readers really had a problem with it, saying the pink background was too much, though they appreciated our gesture in support of breast cancer awareness.

“Overwhelming,” one reader wrote.

Other readers applauded it.

“Printing on pink paper was inspirational,” one penned.

We don’t expect to go pink again anytime soon, but we sure wanted to grab the attention of the whole town. At the risk, yes, of being annoying.

We wanted to call attention in a big way to National Mammography Day, the third Friday in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

This month, the Sun-Times is partnering with UChicago Medicine, ABC7 Chicago and the American Cancer Society to raise public awareness about breast cancer and the importance of having regular mammograms.

We’re doing so because of the statistics: One in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life. In Illinois, an estimated 11,560 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

That’s far higher than the estimates of new cases of lung, prostate, and other common cancers.

Mammograms are 87% effective in detecting breast cancer in its early stages. Yet Illinois ranks only 27th in the nation for cancer screening through mammography. Only 72% of women age 40 and over in our state have had a mammogram within the past two years, according to 2016 data from the Cancer Society.

Illinois can do better.

If you’re a woman age 40 to 54 and you haven’t had a mammogram within the last year, as guidelines recommend, we urge you to call your health provider and schedule one.

If you’re 55 or older, every two years is the recommendation.

It could save your life.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com

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