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Tennessee’s annual Pink & Pearl Campaign backs early detection as ‘best protection’ against breast and lung cancer

The Tennessee Department of Health is promoting breast and lung cancer awareness in November with the annual Pink & Pearl Campaign.

“Now is a good time to prioritize cancer screenings and regular check-ups with your health care provider,” said TDH Commissioner Dr. Morgan McDonald, MD FACP FAAP. “Early cancer detection is critical to beating a cancer diagnosis.”

The Pink & Pearl Campaign combines the pink ribbon, a recognized breast cancer awareness symbol, with the pearl ribbon representing lung cancer awareness. While breast cancer is the most common cancer in female Tennesseans, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women.

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“The Pink & Pearl Campaign allows us to highlight Tennessee’s leading cause of cancer and the most common cause of cancer deaths,” said Tennessee Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Tobi Amosun, MD, FAAP. “Health screenings should be an essential part of your life health plan. By raising awareness, decreasing risk factors like tobacco use, and making early interventions, we mitigate the rising number of breast and lung cancer deaths in our state, and ultimately save more lives.”

Breast Screening Recommendations
Federal guidelines recommend women begin regular mammogram screenings at the age of 50. Depending on risk factors, some women need to start screening at an earlier age, which can be determined with a health care provider. Click for more information.

Free breast cancer screenings are available to qualifying individuals through the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program (TBSCP). TBCSP provides breast and cervical screening services to uninsured and underinsured women, and diagnostic testing for men and women who qualify.

TennCare coverage is available for eligible individuals through the Presumptive Eligibility Program. Contact your local health department for more information.

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Lung Screening Recommendations
Adults ages 50 to 80 with a smoking history should talk with their health care providers about annual lung cancer screenings. Click for more information.

Reducing Disparities
While breast and lung cancer impact individuals of all races and ethnicities, they are among many diseases that disproportionately affect minority populations. For both types of cancer, black men and women are more likely to be diagnosed in later stages. Black individuals are also more likely to die from these diseases. Data also indicates that black women and men are diagnosed with more aggressive subtypes both cancers.

Pink and Pearl Day
On Pink & Pearl Day, Fri., Nov. 4, 2022, Tennesseans can support the campaign by wearing pink and pearls and sharing pictures on social media using the campaign hashtags #TNPinkandPearl and #MyPinkandPearlWhy.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.

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