Rather than devote an entire section of the magazine to Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, I decided to intersperse the articles to make them harder to bypass. After all, breast cancer continues to touch so many lives. One startling statistic is that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. yearly, and 1 in 3 of those become metastatic. African American women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than Caucasian women. It is estimated that among U.S. women and men there are 268,600 new cases of advanced breast cancer and 41,760 breast cancer deaths yearly. Of those deaths, about 97-99% of will be from metastatic breast cancer. Men get breast cancer too. About 2670 new male breast cancer diagnoses are anticipated this year, and 500 will die from metastatic breast cancer.

Other topics we cover this month include mental health, new treatments for depression, keeping kids healthy at school, cyberbullying, how we can help Afghan evacuees, and more. There is also no better time than the Fall harvest to consider the role of food as medicine in our daily lives. Thus, we encourage everyone to read our cover model’s story on page 25. We also invite everyone to attend a free Food as Medicine Symposium on October 16 via zoom. You’ll get to hear from local and national leaders on this topic.

Meanwhile, with COVID-19 still present in our lives, I am reminded of another time in history when people were dying of a different disease called polio. I recall one relative’s lifelong confinement to a wheelchair due to polio. I also know that, without a vaccine, polio would have never been eradicated.

October is always a beautiful month, filled with the vibrant colors that nature always provides. So, enjoy the magical colors, stay healthy, and get vaccinated.