Thinking Pink Thinking Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month .

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —  Salon Bellezza thinks pink every October.

“We offer pink hair extensions and I have raffles,” said owner Annette Knapp.

Football signed by Dino Babers
© 1997 Morgan Trau

Some of the items being raffled are an autographed basketball from Syracuse University men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim and an autographed football from Syracuse University men’s football coach Dino Babers.

Basketball signed by Jim Boeheim.
© 2019 Morgan Trau

The deals are to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Knapp has been fundraising for nine years, and this cause is especially important to her.

“I think everybody has something in their family, mine is cancer,” she said.

Annette lost her mother to breast cancer two decades ago, and in 2013, her sister was diagnosed.

“When it’s your mother, it’s close,” she said. “But when it’s your sister, well it hit closer to home.”

Annette tries to donate $10,000 every year to the American Cancer Society in honor of her family and any others suffering. And she thinks her money has gone to good use.

“I’m a survivor, a six-year survivor,” Annette’s sister and cancer survivor Bobbie Procopio said.

Two women talking
Annette and her sister Bobbie talking at the salon.
© 2019 Morgan Trau

Procopio considers herself one of the lucky ones. She beat the cancer within a few months, which gives her an even bigger reason to support her sister’s cause.

“And I was always helping her with her fundraising, but oh okay now I’m doing it for me”.

Pink is an extremely important color for the sisters. They say it represents awareness.

“I wear my pink hair extension every year! And when people comment on it I say did u get your mammogram?” said Procopio.

Woman with pink hair
Procopio’s hair extension as she talks to her sister.
© 2019 Morgan Trau

And research. that’s why everything in the store is pink and why they have so many pink deals.

“With all the money raised and the research that they have, it’s changed – it’s evolved – the disease that we’re are treating, that’s not a death sentence anymore,” said Knapp.

Through the rest of October, you can also get a pumpkin for a donation of 10 dollars.


Hand-sewn pumpkin’s sit on the table in the salon.
© 2019 Morgan Trau


Breast Self-Exam

How to check for lumps, as told by National Breast Cancer Foundation

1) In the Shower

Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

2) In Front of a Mirror

Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.

Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

3) Lying Down

When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.

Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

Can I Rely On Breast Self-Exams Alone To Be Sure I Am Breast Cancer Free?

Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection. But when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider.

If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic — 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.

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