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Sharp Health News

Men ‘go pink’ for breast cancer awareness

Oct. 21, 2016

Men ‘go pink’ for breast cancer awareness

Raul Romo at the 2015 Men of Sharp Chula Vista Go Pink event.

The men of Chula Vista are dying their facial hair pink, and it’s not to keep up with a hot beauty trend. No, these colorful guys do it in honor of women everywhere and the fight against breast cancer.

In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Mammography Day, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center’s male doctors and staff, including chief executive officer Pablo Velez, as well as local police officers, will color their facial hair pink during the Men of Sharp Chula Vista Go Pink event.

Raul Romo and his wife, Deborah, both longtime Sharp Chula Vista employees, understand the importance of early detection and quality cancer care. Raul was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and, with the support of his large family and the oncology team at Sharp Chula Vista, is now cancer-free and eager to participate in the Go Pink event.

“Any type of cancer is cancer, and support is key for everyone,” he says. “I participate in the Go Pink event to support all women who suffer, have suffered or will suffer with any type of cancer. We want them to know that they should have faith and never give up.”

Snooky Rico, a breast cancer survivor and the owner of Rico’s on 3rd salon in Chula Vista, will apply the hair dye with help from her salon staff.

“I’m thrilled to partner with my fellow physicians and colleagues at Sharp Chula Vista, Snooky Rico and her staff, and the Chula Vista Police Department for our second annual Men of Sharp Chula Vista Go Pink,” says Dr. Phillip Zentner, medical director of radiation oncology at the Douglas & Nancy Barnhart Cancer Center. “This is such a unique event that I’m proud to be a part of. We hope it serves as a memorable reminder that the best defense against breast cancer is early detection.”

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), close to 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and more than 40,000 women will die from breast cancer in 2016. However, experts believe that early detection screenings — such as mammograms — save thousands of lives each year. And even more lives could be saved if a greater number of women were aware of the screenings and took advantage of them.

Screenings allow the cancer to be discovered before it causes symptoms, such as a lump felt during self-examination or by chance. Breast cancers found during mammograms are more likely to be small and still confined to the breast, and have a greater chance of being successfully treated.

In fact, according to the ACS, early detection also allows for more treatment options, including less-extensive surgery and the use of chemotherapy with fewer serious side effects. In some cases, the option to forgo chemotherapy might even be a possibility.

For more information about breast cancer care at Sharp or to schedule your appointment to receive a mammogram, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) or visit

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