Cooler weather and the start of fall beg us to pull out the oranges, yellows and reds. But the most important color this month isn’t on the traditional autumn color palette.

It’s time to think pink.

October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and The Lufkin Daily News is highlighting the occasion by turning our website pink for 31 days as a reminder for women and men to pay closer attention to breast health. We’ll also be publishing a special section on Oct. 25 featuring stories on awareness and honoring those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.

Breast cancer affects most of our lives in one way or another, with Texas expecting 19,590 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 3,060 deaths among its women in 2020, according to the American Cancer Society.

Chances are you know a family member or a friend with breast cancer, or even you yourself might be struggling with the disease or questioning certain abnormal medical signs related to breast health. Acknowledgement of breast cancer’s existence isn’t enough, though. It takes action and bravery to monitor for and then face and conquer it.

Unfortunately, another health concern — COVID-19 — has forced the cancellation of this year’s CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial’s Power of Pink! Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon.

Through Power of Pink! — the largest event of its type in the region and one voted again as Best Community Event by our readers in our most recent Best of Lufkin contest — thousands of women have been educated about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, early detection and treatment options.

The event started 28 years ago as a small group of ladies gathering to learn more about breast cancer after the death of their friend, Jan Moore. And while this year’s luncheon has been sidelined by the coronavirus, organizers are encouraging the community to stay involved with the fight against breast cancer.

More than 200 patients receive a course of radiation treatment at the Temple Cancer Center each year, with dozens of those patients requiring financial help from the Indigent Care Fund.

“Even the best treatment cannot work if a patient does not have the transportation to get to it,” said Dr. Sid Roberts, board certified radiation oncologist and medical director of the Temple Cancer Center, in a post on the Lufkin Power of Pink Facebook page.

For that reason, much of the money donated to the Indigent Care Fund goes toward addressing unmet transportation needs of cancer patients in particularly vulnerable populations, like East Texas, who are experiencing an unequal burden of cancer.

Contributions to the Indigent Cancer Fund may be mailed to:

Temple Cancer Center

Attn: Indigent Care Fund

1201 W. Frank Ave.

Lufkin, Texas 75904

If you know of someone in need, please contact the Temple Cancer Center at 639-7468.

We join the cancer center in encouraging our community to be a part of this year’s #PowerOfPink! #KeepTheFlameBurning Facebook Awareness Campaign by visiting the Lufkin Power of Pink Facebook page and sharing their daily breast cancer facts to help spread the message that cancer has not stopped and neither has our fight.

The American Cancer Society has proven that early detection and improved treatments have been key in helping more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors celebrate a birthday this year.

Let’s join together in spreading breast cancer awareness this month to shed a light on this potentially devastating disease.