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Rapides Cancer Center and Rapides Regional Medical Center are inviting the central Louisiana community to join hospital employees as they “Paint the Town Pink” on Friday, Oct. 5 – and every Friday in October!

All you have to do is wear your favorite pink dress, shirt, tie – or even socks – to show your support for breast cancer patients throughout central Louisiana.

“In the United States, a woman has a 1 in 8 risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. This year alone, 39,520 women and 450 men will die from breast cancer,” said Theresa Hood, RNC, Director of Education.

“By wearing pink, we can show that we’re aware of that statistic. But we can also wear pink in celebration of the fact that when caught early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 98 percent when in 1982, it was 74 percent.

“Usually, we wait until the middle of the month to Paint the Town Pink, but this year, we’re wearing pink to kick off the month.”

Also this month, RRMC will display original works of art in the South Tower art gallery in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Then, on Oct. 20, you’ll find RRMC employees participating in Susan G. Komen’s “Race for the Cure” in downtown Alexandria – and see pink banners decorating the RRMC campus in the days leading up to the race.

“We hope that the ribbons, the banners, the ads and the billboards will catch your eye. And once we catch your eye, we hope you start talking,” Hood explained.
“From there, we have an opportunity to remind women of the importance of scheduling a yearly mammogram and tell women and men, of all ages, how they can support the fight against breast cancer.”

To make the idea of that yearly mammogram a little sweeter, every woman who completes a screening mammogram at Rapides Regional Medical Center during October will receive a free “My mammogram was a piece-a-cake!” T-shirt – and coupon for a free cupcake from Piece-A-Cake bakery in Pineville.

“Our hope is that women will call their doctor, make the appointment and tell their friends,” Hood said.

RRMC is also offering free community education materials and speakers for groups planning Breast Cancer Awareness events during October. Just call 769-4027 to make a request.