Stony Brook University Hospital will team up with the Town of Brookhaven next October for a month-long breast cancer awareness campaign called Turn the Town Pink.
The campaign will feature a series of free lectures across Brookhaven from Stony Brook doctors, who are encouraged to discuss any topic about breast cancer they choose.
Stony Brook University will donate 10,000 pink ribbon pins to the town’s businesses and doctor’s offices with the Turn the Town Pink slogan, according to Linda Bily, co-chair of the Survivorship Committee of the Cancer Patient Education Network and cancer survivor.
“We haven’t spoken to students yet about Turning the Town Pink,” Bily said. “But I would like them to be involved as well.”
Bily attended a Stony Brook event last week called Boobs and Bras, which discussed women’s health and self-esteem. There, she emphasized how important it is for young women to regularly examine their breasts, even though they are not at an age women typically develop breast cancer.
Stony Brook University is also partnered with Skydive Long Island. The skydiving company has donated part of its daily profit to cancer research at Stony Brook for one Saturday every October for the past 11 years.
According to a “Newsday” article, about 1,200 Suffolk County women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and annually, 300 die from the disease.
Long Island has a higher number of breast cancer cases recorded than many other places in the United States. According to the Maurer Foundation for breast health education, “Suffolk and Nassau County had a breast cancer incidence rate approximately 18 percent higher than the statewide average.”
Researchers are unsure why Long Island has more cases of breast cancer than other parts of the country, but some think that environmental factors are involved.
Stony Brook University decided to participate in the town’s breast cancer awareness in March. Stony Brook Village joined the campaign in 2012.
Though Turn the Town Pink is not a fundraiser, donations are always accepted to the Stony Brook Cancer Center. The campaign will not cost the university any money aside from the pins they are donating.