VAIL — One in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, according to www.breast cancer.org. That’s why local salons and businesses throughout Eagle County are coming together this month to educate, celebrate survivors and raise funds to battle breast cancer. Pretty in Pink, a breast health awareness and fundraising initiative, supports local women in need by helping to provide free screenings and covering diagnostic costs at the Sonnenalp Breast Center.
Throughout October, take advantage of the special offerings throughout Eagle County. Whether it’s getting a new do at a cut-a-thon, partying at e|town or buying a pink t-shirt from Eagle River Fire Protection District, proceeds will help women locally.
“In its third year, Pretty in Pink has proven to be both fun and highly beneficial to local women needing screening services,” said Peggy Carey, vice president at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. “We know that nearly a quarter of a million women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year and if found early, there is a 98 percent survival rate. Pretty in Pink makes it easier for women to get the tests needed and assures every women knows to start getting annual mammograms at 40.”
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the time to get the word out about the importance of screening, and local salons are helping. In addition to donations and percentage of proceeds, some salons are making theme parties of the event. Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt is doing a $25 cut-a-thon on Oct. 10 and a drawing for a couples massage and dinner at 8100 Grill.
Can’t make the Allegria cut-a-thon? Spa Anjali at the Westin is doing one on Oct. 23. Other events include Pink in the Rink at Eagle Ice Rink on Oct. 12, the Breast Cancer Awareness Spa Party at Elements Day Spa on Oct. 22 with discounted spa services, raffle and door prizes and many more events and promotions. The Sonnenalp Breast Center in Edwards is holding a free drawing for a stay at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, with spa treatments or golf. Visit www.shawcancercenter.com/prettyinpink for official rules and additional information. Regardless of how you participate, you can know that the proceeds will help women in the valley access life-saving diagnostic screenings.
Filling the gap
According to the American Cancer Society, the 98 percent survival rate drops to just 27 percent if the breast cancer is diagnosed late. The American Cancer Society and the Sonnenalp Breast Center recommend women who are over 40, or younger if they have a strong family history of breast cancer, receive annual breast screenings.
While Colorado law requires that insurance cover the full cost of preventative mammograms, and while there are many assistance programs to get free mammograms, most insurance does not cover all the expenses of diagnostic breast imaging. When women with a suspicious or questionable mammogram need to go back and have repeat mammograms or other diagnostic procedures it is often not fully covered. The proceeds from Pretty in Pink’ will go to benefit women who need help covering breast diagnostic procedures through a fund called the Gap Fund.
“The Gap program is truly helping the working people in our community and help ease some anxiety and financial stress that comes with diagnostic imaging,” said Colleen Berga, manager of the Sonnenalp Breast Center. The fund was created by the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group in July 2012 and since its inception, 89 women have received financial assistance from the Gap Fund, and two breast cancers were found in the first year alone.