A sea of pink in Indian Country for Indigenous Pink Day

"Happy Indigenous Pink Day! AICAF staff and Peggy Flanagan are wearing #IndigenousPink to honor all of our breast cancer warriors. Who are YOU honoring today by wearing pink?? Retweet & remind loved ones to spread awareness!" (Photo by the American Indian Cancer Foundation | Twitter)

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Native women.

Join Peggy Flanagan, who is running for lieutenant governor in Minnesota, in wearing pink today as part of Indigenous Pink Day. The American Indian Cancer Foundation declared every third Thursday in October as Indigenous Pink Day. A national campaign on social media to increase breast cancer awareness in American Indian and Alaskan Native communities.

People across the country can be part of this campaign by taking selfie or group selfie of those wearing pink and posting it to social media with the hashtag #IndigenousPink. Make sure to tag the American Indian Cancer Foundation so they can share your photo. This day is part of the month of October being breast cancer awareness month.

The most commonly diagnosed cancer for women is breast cancer. Lung cancer trails in second and colorectal follows. According to a 20-year study in the American Journal of Public Health, the cancer death rates for Indigenous peoples have increased.

One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the foundation. American Indian and Alaskan Native women have a 7 percent higher cancer rate than non-Hispanic white women.

The foundation encourages women to start their annual screenings as soon as they are 40. They can also choose to do mammograms. But start at age 45, women should start their annual mammograms. A infographic below lists screening recommendations for women because “early detection increases survival.”

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter@jourdanbb. Email:jbennett-begaye@indiancountrytoday.com

Indian Country Today will stream a live coast-to-coastnewscast on election day partnering with FNX / First Nations Experience and Native Voice One. The newscast will begin at 6 p.m. Pacific / 9 p.m. Eastern.