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The Ocean County Health Department is encouraging residents to wear a touch of pink or blue when getting dressed on October 25, 2023, as a symbol of support for individuals fighting cancer. What started out more than a decade ago as a breast cancer observance day has expanded and now recognizes everyone with any type of this terrible disease.
“Pretty in Pink/Handsome in Blue Day we observe every year in October to boost cancer awareness and support those individuals who are fighting the many forms of this terrible disease,” said Ocean County Commissioner Deputy Director Gary Quinn, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “It’s a day to we should also keep in our thoughts the loved ones lost to cancer, celebrate the survivors and all their caretakers.”
“It’s hard to find someone you know who hasn’t had their life touched by cancer,” explained OCHD Public Health Coordinator, Daniel Regenye. “Wearing something pink or blue on October 25 is a special way to recognize your own loved ones and it’s a nice way to show your support for fellow workers or students, customers and friends who may have their own personal cancer stories.”
The American Cancer Society estimates in 2023, 1,958,310 new cancer cases and 609,820 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. In New Jersey, more than 56,000 new cancer cases have been reported since January and an estimated 15,230 total deaths are projected. At that time, breast cancer (8,580) and prostate cancer (9,460) were the top two cancers diagnosed in women and men in the Garden State.
However, Regenye went on to advise major advances in treatment options are helping people live longer and early detection is key to surviving many forms of cancer. “Regular screening increases the chances of finding certain cancers early, before it has a chance to spread,” he said. “Some can be even be avoided, including the 19% of cancers caused by smoking and at least 18% caused by a combination of excess body weight, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, sun overexposure and cancer-related infections.”
Individuals should also remember to discuss with their healthcare provider the potential risk factors such as family cancer history and preventative vaccines.
The OCHD – in partnership with the NJ CEED Program – provides important cancer screening services, such as physical breast and cervical examinations, Pap smears, and colorectal cancer screening kits at no cost for uninsured or underinsured residents.
To assess your eligibility or to schedule an appointment, please contact the OCHD Clinic Services division at (732) 341-9700