Indigenous Pink Day


Dear Breast Cancer
by Tomeka McKague
AIHFS Medical Assistant

I wanted to introduce myself since you decided to invade my family 6 years ago. I am sure you gave signs that were ignored. You would go on to setup residence and you wouldn’t leave until you completed your mission. I often wonder do you know that she was a wonderful person. A mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend. She has four beautiful daughter’s and a son. Did you know that you left heartache, what if’s, many wishes and prayers unanswered. Do you even care that she was young, so full of life and had a smile that lit up a room. How about the thousands of woman and men that you decide to invade year after year. The homes you leave broken and depressed due to your uninvited presence……

The key to beating Breast Cancer is early detection. Self-examination and routine mammograms. It can and will save a life. Breast Cancer introduced itself to my family 6 years ago and it took, I think, the strongest of us all. My sister was given 6 months to live but she fought a good fight for 5 years. She lost her battle a little over a year ago and It’s still unbeliveable to me that she is gone.  It still hurts to know that I can’t call her phone and have her pick up to say I am okay. I can’t express  how important it is to get yearly mammograms and to follow-up on call backs. That could determine if you will be a survivor or have family missing you and wondering why.

  • In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive.
  • About 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2016. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000 invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death and the most common cancer found in American Indian/Alaska Native women. The goal of Indigenous Pink Day is to educate all indigenous people on the importance of early detection and remind men and women to keep up to date on their screenings.



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