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Think PINK in October by Kelsey Sheehan, Public Health Fellow

Posted by: KMRoycroft
Oct 1, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness about the disease. According to the National Breast Cancer website one in eight women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in their lifetime. The treatments that save peoples lives can cause exhaustion and many other health concerns. The PINK program at the YMCA was developed for breast cancer survivors. It was developed by a Harvard doctor, Carolyn M. Kaelin, MD, MPH, who is a breast cancer survivor herself. Master Trainers Josie Gardiner and Joy Prouty also helped develop the program. The program is the only breast cancer recovery program that is approved by the American Council on Exercise.

The goal of the program is to help these survivors, increase strength and restore flexibility while doing daily tasks. The PINK program is offered year round at multiple locations in Massachusetts. The Burbank YMCA, and Parkway Community YMCA in West Roxbury both offer the program. In 2010 Lahey Clinic in Burlington partnered with the YMCA of Greater Boston. They wanted to provide these classes to local breast cancer patients and survivors to be able to give them the most advanced exercise program that is available.

 The PINK Program is a 12-week fitness program that is safe and effective to help these women start feeling better about themselves. There are two classes offered each week.  Women can join these classes if they are currently undergoing treatment or even years after. Each class is designed to deal with different types of breast cancer surgeries and appeal to the many fitness levels survivors may have. There is a lot of support that shows that the right kind of exercise can help lower the odds of developing breast cancer again, boosts energy and strength, makes daily tasks easier, as well as enhances quality of life. Any adult who is 18 years or older who is living with or a survivor of cancer can join. Like all other YMCA programs it is available to these women regardless of their income.

The PINK Program is a great program for people who have or have had breast cancer. It provides a place for people to start exercising again, and make them feel better about themselves. It also is a place where women can connect with people who have suffered from breast cancer themselves. This is a great place to come for support, as that is really needed when going through the struggles these women go through on a day to day basis.

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