MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Cancer Institute is celebrating Pink and Pearl Day, Nov. 4, to help bridge the gap between October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

According to WVU Medicine, breast cancer screenings have been shown to outnumber lung cancer screenings each year.

“We know that mammograms save lives,” Stephenie Kennedy-Rea, Ed.D., associate director for Cancer Prevention and Control at the WVU Cancer Institute, said. “With this campaign, we hope to build upon the momentum from breast cancer awareness month and encourage lung cancer screening in November. In West Virginia, less than 4 percent of those eligible for lung cancer screening are screened; for mammography, that number is more than 80 percent.”

“While breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women in West Virginia, lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths of women and men in our state,” said Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, M.D., director of the WVU Cancer Institute, Jean and Laurence DeLynn Chair of Oncology, and associate professor of surgery at the WVU School of Medicine. “Early detection is important in both cancers, and routine screening is the best tool we have to accomplish this.”

“With more than 150 members from across the state, the Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition has partnered with the WVU Cancer Institute to reduce lung cancer incidence in our state for the last five years, and this campaign is another step in that journey,” Abby Starkey, Mountains of Hope Chair and program manager for WVU Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control, said. “We are excited for the level of engagement we have seen across the state.”

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women ages 50-74 get a mammogram every two years, while women ages 40-49 should talk to their provider about doing the same.

USPSTF guidelines also recommend adults ages 50-80 should get a low dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening if they:

  • Currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years and
  • Have at least a 20-pack year history (number of packs per day times the number of years smoked = pack-year history).

For more information about breast and lung cancer screenings, you can visit CDC.gov/Cancer, and click on the specific type of cancer.

For more information about the Pink and Pearl campaign, visit WVUCancer.org/Pink-and-Pearl-Campaign

To learn more about the WVU Cancer Institute, visit WVUMedicine.org/Cancer