Through a great many pink things—badges, ribbons, shirts, among them—we’re marking October as we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Here at SEIU Local 1000, our Women’s Empowerment Committee is working to raise awareness through two walks—one in Sacramento and one in Los Angeles—and by fundraising throughout the month.

For some, it may seem like “it’s just about pink,” but it’s much more than that. It’s about awareness, and it’s working! Every year since 1989, breast cancer deaths have been steadily decreasing. The American Cancer Society says there has been an overall decline in deaths of 43%.

Most of that is credited to early detection made possible by increased awareness, a central message of Breast Cancer Awareness. It’s important to wear pink in October and encourage the women in our lives to get checked.

“We need to diagnose it early. We need to screen as timely as possible because the earlier it’s caught, the more curable it is. It’s almost 99% curable,” Dr. Sambal Nabi, with the Integris Cancer Institute, said.

There are around 300,000 new breast cancer cases each year in the U.S., and it’s still the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. Screenings are readily available, early detection is essential, and treatment works.

Every diagnosis is a terrifying experience for the patient and those who love them. But the good news is, there is hope.

We encourage you to use your voice, your passion, and your dollars to help reach every woman and make sure she has access to the screening, support and the care she deserves.