This month, we see pink everywhere: on cups and caps. On football cleats, ribbons—even cement mixers! What’s with all the pink? October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and pink is its symbolic color.
Breast cancer is an insidious disease that statistics say will affect 1 in 8 women sometime during her lifetime. Other than skin cancer, it is the most common type of cancer afflicting American women. Although not as common, breast cancer also affects men; over 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. I can think of three people I know personally who have suffered from breast cancer. Chances are you, too, know someone who has suffered from this disease: a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, a teacher—which most likely means your child also knows someone with breast cancer. How do you explain that to a child?
According to CityofHope.org and Cancer.net , it is important to keep your children informed using age-appropriate language. It can be reassuring for them to know and have a name for what is happening.
Here are some books available in the Youth Department that might help:
The Good-Bye Cancer Garden by Janna Matthies
Cancer Hates Kisses by Jessica Reid Sliwerski
Mom and the Polka-Dot Boo-Boo: A Gentle Story Explaining Breast Cancer to a Young Child by Eileen Sutherland