THE ISSUE Breast cancer gets a big spotlight each October, its high profile signified by the ubiquitous pink.

OUR VIEW The scope and high incidence of the disease makes that high profile important, to raise funds, awareness — and spirits.

THE ISSUE Breast cancer gets a big spotlight each October, its high profile signified by the ubiquitous pink.
OUR VIEW The scope and high incidence of the disease makes that high profile important, to raise funds, awareness — and spirits.

A pink tidal wave is sweeping the nation, all part of the nationwide observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Sometimes, when an issue is repeatedly reinforced through ubiquitous reminders, it’s easy to become jaded or inured to the message — we see so much pink, it can become so much gray.

But that can’t happen regarding breast cancer. The need is far too important.

This year, nearly 300,000 American women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 39,520 women nationwide are expected to die from it — second only to lung cancer for cancer deaths among women. And it’s not just women: About 2,140 cases, and some 450 deaths, are expected among men.

People with a cancer diagnosis need the financial means to undertake effective treatment. They need emotional as well as medical support as they experience the sometimes harrowing effects of treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery. They need to know that research is continuing to minimize — and, hopefully someday, eliminate — breast cancer’s effects.

They need hope.

And that’s what all this pink is about: A hue of hope. A symbol that a community understands, or tries to understand. An expression of solidarity with those who have fought the disease, those who fight it now and who will in the future. A reminder that a diagnosis is no death sentence, and that they don’t stand alone. A banner of awareness, to remind people of the need for early-detection efforts to catch and kill cancer before it spreads. And an encouragement to offer material support as well, to advance efforts not only toward a cure, but toward detection and prevention.

Chances are that if you don’t know someone dealing with breast cancer, you will — or may face it yourself. The high profile this disease is given each October — a reminder that shouldn’t wither come November — is a means to, as the nonprofit puts it, “embrace your sisters” ... and your mothers, and neighbors, and selves.

Think pink.

-- Messenger Post, Canadaigua, N.Y.