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‘Pink Out’ happening at IU Health in support of breast cancer awareness

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness and prevention.

Each year, more than 250,000 women and about 2,500 men are diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. 

Statistics show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life.

“It’s so important to get the word out there about your breasts, go for your screenings. We know that breast cancer screening really does save lives so if we can just let one woman know and remind her to go get screened then we’ve really made a step forward,” said Dr. Tarah Ballinger, who is an oncologist at IU Health.

Breast cancer can impact both men and women.

“It’s not a disease only impacting women, men are diagnosed as well so it’s important for men to be aware of any changes in their breasts,” Dr. Ballinger added.

Hundreds of employees at IU Health‘s Simon Cancer Center are expected to spray their hair pink for a “Pink Out” day on Wednesday. 

“My breast cancer was caught on my annual mammogram without any family history so it’s important for to be here to remind all the women just to get your mammogram because it matters,” said Monica Bates, who is a nurse and current breast cancer patient.

There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer but there are things that can be done to lower risk by a change in lifestyle, according to the American Cancer Society

“Most breast cancer is diagnosed in women with no family history so just because it doesn’t run in your family doesn’t mean you’re immune to it. Look for any swelling, any pain, any nipple discharge, or anything that you’re worried about, please don’t be nervous to report it to your doctor,” said Dr. Ballinger. 

More information on breast cancer prevention can be found here

“It’s really important to know your breasts and if there’s any changes then report them to your doctor. We usually recommend mammograms around age 40 but it really is different for every person, understanding your own risks so you know what the best screening plan is for you.”