The outside of Beatrice Community Hospital continues to be lit pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but the inside has gotten decidedly more colorful.
Throughout October, the hospital is hanging cards recognizing The Colors of Cancer. Each paper has a ring of different cancer ribbons, which the community can write messages inside and present. Messages range from writing a note to a loved one, or writing their name and cancer diagnosis.
Diane Vicars, Senior Executive of Marketing Communications at BCH, said the event is to help raise awareness for all types of cancers and the services available to combat them.
“That early detection saves lives, not just for breast cancer but for cancer in general,” Vicars said.
Vicars said the idea came in part from the NFL broadening their approach of cancer awareness, as well.
The NFL has worked with the American Cancer Society for over a decade with their program, Crucial Catch, Intercept Cancer. The program recently created The Defender, an online tool that provides personalized suggestions to reduce cancer risks.
The cards are located in two places in the hospital: near the infusion center and women’s clinic, and outside the diagnostic imaging center.
Vicars said those locations were chosen because that is where the cancers are found and treated.
BCH currently provides 3D mammograms for breast cancer screenings, colonoscopies for colon cancer detection, low-dose CT screenings for lung cancer and pap tests for cervical cancer, among other services.
“Whether it’s yourself or a family member, a friend or a coworker, almost everyone is impacted by cancer at some point,” Vicars said. “The Colors of Cancer, we hope, symbolizes that community of people that have been affected, and that we all have to work together not only to find a cure for cancer, but really to encourage people to get the screenings for early detection.”
Vicars said individuals need to speak with their family providers first to determine whether they need a cancer screening.
She explained that thus far, many BCH employees have added cards for people in their professional and personal lives, but that anyone is welcomed to participate.
On Monday, Darcey Revis, Day Supervisor for Environmental Services at BCH, placed a card in honor of her father.
After 12 years, Richard Drewes’ prostate cancer developed into bone cancer.
“He is on hospice through Beatrice Community Hospital, and they are awesome,” Revis said. “They really, really are awesome with him. He loves those nurses, he enjoys them coming and talking to him and spending time with him.”
Revis said seeing all the cards placed is somewhat overwhelming to see how many people have been affected by different cancers.
“We feel there’s strength- physical, mental, emotional strength in knowing that you are part of a community that’s been affected and understands that journey,” Vicars said.
Vicars said BCCH intends to make The Colors of Cancer an annual event, in addition to other cancer awareness in the future.
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