Breast cancer Joyce Murtha center

The Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center in Windber is shown on Sept. 20, 2016.

Although we’ve been rolling out special content for Breast Cancer Awareness Month for a decade, our simple goal remains the same.

We hope to convince one more person in our region to get screened for this disease, which hits one in eight women and claims 40,000 lives each year.

Throughout October in the pages of The Tribune-Democrat and on our website and Facebook page, you’ll hear from local people who are fighting breast cancer in a variety of ways:

• Ladies (and perhaps a few men) who got the news that they have cancer and are working with local doctors – with support from their families, friends, co-workers and faith – to become cancer survivors.

• Scientists at the local research institute and elsewhere who have committed themselves to studying cancer at the gene and protein levels with an eye on developing clinical trials, new drugs and better techniques to help people avoid cancer or have better outcomes if they do get the disease.

• Advocates and cheerleaders who host events, raise money, spread knowledge and uplift the community through pink ribbon promotions and their dedication to the cause.

• Surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, nurses, hospital administrators and many others in the health care community who are intensely focused on helping patients push past their diagnoses to healthier futures with the latest in medical techniques and technology.

• Companies and organizations whose leaders and staff care about the people of this region, and who have joined in the march to better care and eventually a cure for cancer. Regional corporate sponsors provide the foundation for movements such as this breast cancer awareness push. We need them desperately – and they never disappoint.

Our partners include: Conemaugh Health System, Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber, 1889 Foundation and the Jefferson Center for Population Health, Highmark, 1st Summit Bank, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Cambria County Association for the Blind and Handicapped, McAneny Brothers, AmeriServ Financial, CamTran, First Commonwealth Bank, Johnstown Wire Technologies, Somerset Hospital, Mount Aloysius, Crown American, Martella’s Pharmacies, Five-Star Mitsubishi, The Health Insurance Place, Concurrent Technologies Corp., JWF Industries and the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

With the help of these amazing individuals and organizations, we will offer content throughout October that helps our readers make good choices – getting screened, having mammograms, understanding their own health challenges.

We will provide tips for preventing cancer, or for early detection – the best tool for long-term survival.

We will celebrate the courage of those battling this awful disease right now, and we will remember those tremendous fighters we’ve lost along the way.

And we will lift up the groundbreaking scientific studies taking place right now in our midst, and the compassionate and dedicated professionals who treat and support cancer patients every day.

You will see a pink ribbon on our front page throughout October, and on our website and social media platforms, to remind us – and all of you – that much work remains.

All of this explains why we’ve titled the Oct. 1 special breast cancer awareness section “Our mission: Saving lives.”

That also is our calling – indeed, our duty – for the entire month and beyond in this amazing, encouraging, energizing but unfinished journey.

Together, we will save one more life.