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Every year, the color pink takes over the month of October. Research indicates pink makes people feel accepted and nurtured, which may be why we associate that color with femininity.  We, here at NorthShore Health Centers, think women (and pink!) are strong and that sometimes leads to forgetting to take care of yourself because you’re taking care of others.

This year, for the month of October, why don’t you focus on the ME in WE? If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t care for others. This means you don’t even have to feel selfish about taking care of yourself, at least not this month. And definitely not with us. We encourage you to nurture yourself, to put yourself first – including making sure you’re taking care of your health.

Use the pink to remind you to schedule your annual mammogram, if it’s time.  The CDC states that, in 2018, 66.7% of women aged 40 and over had a mammogram within the last two years. During the pandemic, that number fell. Let’s bring it back up and pledge to take care of ourselves this year. While COVID-19 is still very real, so is the instance of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women through 2021. Cancer isn’t waiting for COVID to end, neither should you.

Don’t stop there, either. Ensure you’re also scheduling your annual care like pap smears and an exam with your OB/GYN. We can’t take care of everyone around us if we aren’t taking care of us. Talk to your healthcare provider about an annual physical, too. The annual OB/GYN visit is important, but it doesn’t take the place of a full body physical. If you’re looking to find a healthcare provider to assist you in ensuring you are taking all preventative measures to stay healthy (for you and for others!), we can help!

Breast cancer doesn’t wait for October or for COVID. So, you shouldn’t either. But, if you’ve been waiting for the right time to make an appointment? Let all that pink remind you this month. Pink is beautiful, it’s strong, and so are you.