The color pink. We see it around Valentine’s Day in the hues of budding flowers at springtime and on the walls of nurseries in households across the country. But the color pink is never more evident, or powerful, than during the month of October.

Each year, the nation pauses during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to recognize those who courageously fight this tragic disease. We also remember lives lost, empower survivors, and recommit to, one day, beating this disease once and for all.

Mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, friends, and men and women alike have all been touched by breast cancer. Breastcancer.org lays out the facts. Roughly one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of this disease diagnosed among American women.

Today, there are more than 2.8 million American women who have been touched by a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. That’s about one and a half times the population of Nebraska.

The numbers are daunting. But behind these statistics are so many brave women, and their family and friends, who are devoted to caring for them.

Like many of you, I have people in my own life who have suffered from this disease. Their grace, strength, and dignity during the toughest of times is truly an inspiration.

We are all thankful for the countless groups and organizations that dedicate their time, energy, and resources to fighting cancer this month and year-round. The leadership they display is a driving force that not only grows public awareness, but also increases educational resources to help women catch and treat the disease early.

The single best way to fight breast cancer is early detection. For that reason, public awareness makes a difference. Take television journalist Amy Robach for example. After receiving a mammogram live on Good Morning America, she received her own shocking breast cancer diagnosis. Fortunately, she fought hard and is now in remission. Her story moved many and illuminated the importance of regular checkups.

As women across the country tackle this deadly disease, it is crucial that Americans with breast cancer have the information they need to make informed decisions. In the Senate, I am a cosponsor of the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act. This bipartisan bill would help women facing invasive breast cancer surgery better understand the current treatment options.

But where there is tragedy, there is also hope. Breast cancer rates have decreased since 1989 due in large part to increased awareness, advances in treatment, and early detection. These improvements renew our faith that there will be a day when cancer is a memory instead of a threat.

This month, when you see pink ribbons on suit lapels or the bright pink cleats on the football field, remember this color is a symbol of solidarity for all those who battle this disease.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.