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South Dakota State Capitol is “In the Pink”

September 30, 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S. D. - Starting on Thursday, the South Dakota State Capitol building will be bathed in pink every evening during the month of October - and the reason won't be a full month of beautiful sunsets.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), more than 192,000 women will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year, and over 530 of those cases will be in South Dakota. Jill Ireland, an ACS breast cancer specialist, says "turning pink" is a good way to remind women of the importance of breast cancer screening.

"Every night at sundown when the Capitol flood lights come on, the Capitol will glow pink to draw attention to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and our message that mammography is still the best way to detect breast cancer."

Early detection is key to lowering the numbers of deaths from breast cancer, says Ireland, but there are several barriers to women being screened.

"One has been cost, also access - and there are programs available for women in this state who need either free or low-cost screenings."

The entire state will also be "lit up" in pink - at least, online - through the ACS "PinkOutSD" interactive campaign. Whenever a woman signs up for an "e-Mammogram," the county in which she resides turns pink on an interactive state map. The program provides emailed reminders that encourage women to remember and keep their mammogram appointments. The monthly messages also provide health tips and prompt women to conduct breast self-exams. Sign up online at www.cancer.org/pinkoutsd.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - SD