ARKANSAS, USA — The gown we wear today is pink. This past weekend, we witnessed an outpouring of support from the college football world for Arkansas State's head coach Blake Anderson, who lost his wife Wendy to breast cancer just over three weeks ago.
It's a story that captivated the country. It's also a story that one segment of our society is working to make sure it never gets told again.
Radiologist Brian Owens spends most of his workday searching for signs of breast cancer
"Our goal is to try to find breast cancers when they're as small as possible," Owens explained.
That translates to mammograms.
"Any mammogram is better than no mammogram at all," he said.
And a new battle that has erupted, involves the news from various sources questioning the frequency of mammograms.
"What we would like for people to understand is that frequently, those recommendations are made by people who don't see and treat breast cancer and breast cancer patients every day," Owens said. "For those of us who do, we know the importance of having a yearly mammogram and mammograms starting at age 40."
And for those with a family history or genetic predisposition to breast cancer, mammograms before age 40 are recommended.
Technology in the form of 3D Mammography is helping. It gives doctors a more detailed picture and reduces the need for call-backs when there's just the suspicion of a cancer.
"We can actually see something that might be hidden by the normal surrounding breast tissue," Owens added.
Dr. Owens readily admits a good number of women don't want to face the machine, relying instead on self-examination.
"Unfortunately though, by the time they can feel that breast cancer, it may be at an advanced age," he warned.
As we approach October and breast cancer awareness month, know there are sentries out there, dutifully watching, inspecting, searching for anything that might spell trouble.
Regular mammograms over age 40 means you have this army working for you. Wear the Gown.
One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. In Arkansas, it's estimated that just over 400 women will die this year because of it.
It's happening too often and taking women too soon. There is a stadium full of Georgia and ASU fans who would agree.