Pink-ribbon message must be remembered

A little levity when dealing with a serious subject can go a long way in attracting desired attention, and that is exactly what happened with the entry of Saudi Arabia into the Guiness Book of World Record for forming the world’s largest human pink ribbon chain at the Ministry of Education Sports Stadium in Al-Rawdah. The chain and record were the culmination of the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign that has been promoted around the globe for the past week or so.

No doubt, of course, that the various seminars and educational events that have been part of the campaign have been profoundly important in promoting awareness of the disease.

But events such as the human pink ribbon chain are particularly attractive to younger citizens who are more likely to look up at a TV spot on such a colorful event than consider the words of a medical researcher talking head.

By capturing the attention of the young, public health workers stress the importance of taking preventive measures aimed at detecting any cancer at the earliest possible stage, when it is most likely to be curable. The first defense against breast is self-examination.

This includes men and women as men can develop breast cancer at almost the same rates as women. Mammograms regularly scheduled by your doctor constitute the second line of defense and allow doctors to detect tumors, which can sometimes be benign.

The most important part of cancer care, however, is early defense. No matter the type of cancer, breast cancer or any other kind, early detection is almost always the key to successful treatment. Both women and men must be taught to overcome their reluctance to visiting doctors out of fear that the news they might receive would be unsettling.

But even unsettling news these days can come with the conclusion: “but we can treat it.” They cannot treat it, however, if they do not know it is there, and it is the individual’s responsibility to seek help both in maintaining his/her health and treating it when necessary.

We can make those pink ribbon chains as long as we want. Let’s remember why we are making them.

Saudi Gazette

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