MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – It is that time of year – to think pink. The kickoff to the yearly Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Real Men Wear Pink reveal was held on Thursday.

“Get your mammograms, starting at 40 years old” – an important message on a festive night.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, held each October, is only a few weeks away and the American Cancer Society is highlighting two big events to raise money and awareness: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Real Men Wear Pink campaigns.

“People care about this cause. It is the most common cancer now. It is ahead of lung cancer as the most common cancer,” said Sundi Herring with the American Cancer Society.

The shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic saw a dramatic drop in the number of people being screened for cancer. The push now: get people back in front of their doctors to get a check-up.

“Early detection is truly key,” said Dr. Brian Mahon, a radiologist with Trident Health. “I know it’s almost a catchphrase now, you hear it everywhere, but it is so true. That’s why these sorts of things are so important.”

The Real Men Wear Pink campaign is near and dear to Summerville Police Chief Doug Wright. One of 12 real men raising money for the cause.  

The Summerville Police Department recently lost one of their own, Eddie Fleming, who lost his battle with cancer.

“This deeply impacted our entire police department,” said Chief Wright. “It’s not breast cancer, but it is cancer – we need to really do all we can to get the research behind it.”

Some sobering numbers: over 43,000 women in the United States are expected to die this year from breast cancer. About one in eight women, about 13%, will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.

But to be sure, cancer doesn’t discriminate. “Cancer doesn’t care if you are a man or woman,” said Dr. Mahon.

So, while pink may be a pretty color, it serves as an important reminder. A way of uniting communities, companies, and individuals with a collective goal to end breast cancer as we know it.

The Making Strides Against Cancer walk will take place at North Charleston’s Riverfront Park on October 30th. Real Men fundraising has already begun.