Fight Like A Girl: Breast Cancer Awareness

Is there a party somewhere? Everywhere we look, we can spot silky pink fabric twisted into elegant ribbons.

Although these ribbons are beautiful and festive, most people know that the disease they represent is anything but a party.

October is breast cancer awareness month, and the statistics may seem boring…but cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. And of that, breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer.

Although 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, men are at risk too. With all diseases, our best chance at surviving is early detection. Follow these early detection tips:

1)    Self-examination: Many physician visits originate from the discovery of a lump or oddity. Take the time to listen to your body and recognize any abnormalities by performing monthly self-examinations.

2)    Mammogram: For those women who have low or average risks, the mammogram is the most common procedure for early detection. The American Cancer Society recommends one every year starting at age 40 and continuing as long as the individual is in good health. 

3)    MRI: In certain cases, the self-exam and the mammogram may both miss the detection. If you are at a higher risk, ask your doctor for an MRI which will more accurately show the involved area.

4)    History: One of the most important considerations is family history. In those families who have a history of breast cancer, testing for mutated genes may be appropriate. Talk closely with your physician and make him/her aware of your risks.

Unfortunately, this disease does not discriminate or only affect patients with a higher risk. As October unfolds, encourage your grandmother, mom, sister, friend, daughter and any other woman in your life to schedule a mammogram.

Annual mammograms are our first line of defense against this life-robbing cancer. Let’s make a commitment to follow the suggestions of the experts and get ourselves healthy, and when we prevent this disaster from affecting even one life, we can consider those pretty pink ribbons a reason for a party after all.  

Kelly Kinney, RPh
Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy – Rusk, TX




Together, we HOPE

While October is oft-celebrated with candy and creepy crawlies, don't forget to take time and reflect on this month's message of hope. Find out more below with Pharmacist Matt Baker's discussion of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Together we HOPE. Employee owners, Breast cancer survivors. Shop With Someone You Know
October has always been that charming time of year where your otherwise normal neighbors erect an 18-foot blow-up witch and fake tombstones across their yard. Large spiders adorn the hedges while the fake webs from whence they crept waft eerily in the breeze. Whatever in the world possesses such people to flaunt all their haunts, I will never know.
PS - Don't miss these Wicked Good Snacks from Catering Coordinator Kate Rudasill (perfect for Halloween!)
Thankfully, October means more than just a month of ghosts and ghouls these days. Halloween no longer defines October (blow-up scary things notwithstanding); instead, the month boasts something far more altruistic—Breast Cancer Awareness.
October also includes Hispanic Heritage Month! Celebrate with these two Cooking with Kate recipes: Bolivian-Style Empanadas and Spanish Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon.
The rampant colors of candy corn now compete with pink ribbons pinned everywhere as a reminder to celebrate those who have survived the awful disease and to remember those who did not. Pink also serves as a signpost of the seriousness of this diagnosis and the benefits of screening and early detection.
As it stands, 1 in 8 women across the U.S. will be diagnosed with some type of invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. That’s 12.4% of our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters.  And while mortality rates have been declining since 1989, almost 41,000 women are expected to die in 2018—a figure more frightening than any front-yard Frankenstein.
Read more: Find out Pharmacist Kelly Kinney's four suggestions on how to "Fight Like A Girl" when it comes to breast cancer awareness
There’s good news though: women under age 50 have experienced an even larger decline in death rates due to advances in treatment and October’s message of awareness. While society is moving in the right direction, this small step is no reason to rest on our laurels; breast cancer is still dangerous and awareness remains a key weapon in the battle against this disease.
Group of smiling ladies with pink ribbons cheering and holding hands
As such, it is important to remember a few important points about breast cancer in order to fight it more effectively:
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) who has/had the disease; however, 85% of breast cancers develop in women with no family history.
  • Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes result in a significantly higher lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
  • In women under age 45, African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Among women of all ages, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer.
  • All women should begin having mammograms at age 45 and can decrease to every other year at age 55.  Women who wish to start screening early can do so beginning at age 40.
  • An astounding 2,550 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in 2018. A man has about a 1 in 1,000 chance of developing breast cancer over his life.
Next time you see pink ribbons or pink socks (or even pink gloves on an NFL wide receiver), be hopeful.  As awareness increases among the population, we can hope for more frequent screenings, more early detection, and more survivors of this dreadful disease.
Talk with your local pharmacist to find out more. Visit a Brookshire Brothers pharmacy near you today!

Matt Baker, Pharm.D., RPh

Matt Baker is a pharmacist with Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy in Lufkin.  He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 2005 and his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston in 2010.  He writes a monthly pharmacy and wellness article for the Lufkin Daily News and is active in the community.  Matt's passion is serving his patients while ensuring that they are equipped to understand and take their medications properly. 

View more of Matt's articles on the Brookshire Brothers blog.
5 Pink Treats for Breast Cancer Awareness

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of our favorite causes to support. Communities everywhere come together to build relationships and raise awareness for those at every step of the breast cancer journey, whether it’s a bake sale, luncheon party, or 10K run. As such, we’d like to help if you’re looking for easy ideas to “think pink” with these occasions. Courtesy of our vendor partners, we’ve compiled five fun recipes below, each of which are perfectly pink for Pink Ribbon awareness.

What we love about pink themed desserts in particular is that they’re not always all sweet. Usually, these recipes feature pink fruits (strawberries, raspberries, etc.) or pink lemonade to enhance the pink theme. As such, these focal ingredients tend to add some zest to the dessert, which to us makes these recipes even more appropriate to honor breast cancer awareness. While those affected embody a stirring hope, it’s not an all-sweet journey. Often it’s quite bittersweet.

So, raise a pinky and indulge yourself with one of these treats for this month’s cause. And even when the tart raspberries bite back in the cream cake, remember there’s nothing sweeter than hope.

Read more: Find out Pharmacist Kelly Kinney's four suggestions on how to "Fight Like A Girl" when it comes to breast cancer awareness

Pink Together Cupcakes

 Prep: 20 min | Total: 1 hr 30 min | Servings: 24


1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box  — View your ad for special prices this week on eggs!
2 containers Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla or Whipped cream cheese frosting
Betty Crocker™ pink gel food color
PSST!!! Are you signed up for our text promotions yet? Join before this Thursday (10/19) and you could receive a special offer perfect for all of these recipes! To sign up, text JOIN [insert the number of the store you shop at, i.e. "25"] to 59652. If you're not sure what your store number is, you can look it up on the store's information page!


  • Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  • Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 24 cupcakes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • In small bowl, reserve 1 cup frosting. Frost cupcakes with remaining white frosting. Stir pink food color into reserved 1 cup white frosting until desired pink color. Spoon frosting into freezer plastic bag; cut 1/4-inch hole in 1 bottom corner. Or use decorating bag with flat tip with 1/4-inch wide opening. Gently squeeze bag to pipe frosting ribbon on cupcakes. Store loosely covered.

Read more: Organizing a luncheon? Check out these tips for a perfect pink ribbon party.

Don't forget to check out these other pink themed dessert ideas:

Visit your local Brookshire Brothers to get started! 

Selfies & Sutter Home Deliver Hope

Get involved with Sutter Home's campaign for hope by sharing a Sutter Home wine selfie using the #sutterhomeforhope. For every selfie received, Sutter Home will donate $1 to National Breast Cancer Foundation, up to $50,000. Everyone at Sutter Home are as committed as you are to showing support toward finding a cure in the fight against breast cancer, which is why the Sutter Home for Hope initiative began in 2001. Thanks to you, Sutter Home has been able to contribute over $900,000 to National Breast Cancer Foundation. The goal for this year is $1,000,000! 

To continue the efforts this year, we are asking you to share how much you care by posting your Sutter Home wine selfie through Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Just remember to tag it #sutterhomeforhope and make your posts public so Sutter Home can capture them.

By partnering with National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Sutter Home goal is to provide women with early detection, education and support service, while inspiring hope.


Think Pink Luncheon

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so why not honor the women in your life with a lovely fall luncheon? You can gather guests to plan a future fundraiser, host the party to show your support for a particular friend or relative, or raise money for breast cancer research. Depending on the size of the crowd, this menu could be served as an intimate sit-down meal or a lively buffet.

The Invitations

  • In a nod to the theme, print invitations on white cardstock and punch two holes along the top of each one; thread a pink ribbon through the holes and tie. 
  • Ask guests to come ready to share a story about a survivor or an inspiring reading.
  • If the event is a fundraiser, provide information about alternatives to monetary donations such as volunteering opportunities. 
  • If your goal is to reach more women, ask invitees to extend an invitation to friends.

The Setup

  • Line tables with cream-colored runners and set them with small arrangements of pink blooms such as azaleas, peonies or sweet peas.
  • Set out pink-ribboned name tags for guests to put on as they arrive.
  • Assign seats with pink place cards to make sure everyone meets someone new during lunch.
  • Set up a drinks station so guests can help themselves to a beverage. In addition to pitchers of "pink" drinks such as raspberry lemonade, strawberry smoothies, or punch, offer a selection of soothing, fragrant herbal teas and provide pots of hot water along with lemon wedges, honey, cream and sugar. 

The Favors

Fill cellophane bags with homemade "pink" treats and tie them closed with pink ribbon. Attach cards with information on how to donate or give back to the cause. 

Create gift baskets featuring pink lids to help make a difference. The Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives program now includes products like Yoplait, Honey Nut Cheerios, Green Giant, Progress, Nature Valley, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker and Bisquick. Include a note to guests to dedicate their pink lids in honor of a loved one.

The Activities

  • Invite guests to share a story about their battle with breast cancer, or that of a friend or family member. 
  • Plan a walk or run to raise funds for breast cancer awareness or research. Visit the website of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to find out how to join in a walk, run or other event in your area.
  • Ask guests to read poems or encouraging words they’ve used for strength during difficult times. Share helpful books, both inspirational and practical.