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Shades of pink

October, in our area, is known for beautiful colors, warm shades of red, bright and vibrant yellows, brilliant oranges and also a soft, warm pink.   

Pink you might ask? Yes, pink. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The pink ribbon represents the hope for a cure of breast cancer, which is the leading cause of death in women ages 40 to 55.

According the American Cancer Society about 252,710 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year.

An additional 63,410 women will be diagnosed with non–invasive breast cancer and approximately 40,610 women will die.

According to the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation more than 6600 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and of those 85 percent will have no family history of the disease.

There is good news. Right now there are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. And while there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are things you can do to help lower your risk and increase the odds of survival if cancer is found. 

The American Cancer Society also suggests you change the risk factors that are under your control.

Limit alcohol use, exercise regularly, and stay at a healthy weight. 

Women who choose to breast-feed for at least several months may also reduce their breast cancer risk.

Not using hormone therapy after menopause can also help you avoid raising your risk.

BETTY RAMSEY is a publisher of The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Betty.Ramsey@FarmvilleHerald.com.