HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The PA Breast Cancer Coalition begins its month-long breast cancer awareness and action initiative by turning the State Capitol East Wing fountain pink.

“The pink fountain is a site of celebration for all survivors living in Pennsylvania, a place of reflection for the Pennsylvanians we have lost to breast cancer and a symbol of hope that, together, we are working to find a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters don’t have to,” said the PA Breast Cancer Coalition.

According to the coalition, every day, 38 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Pennsylvania. When detected at its earliest stages, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is over 90%.

As for how to detect it, experts encourage mammograms.

UPMC Nurse Jennifer Ashbridge said they are the gold standard, and with ever-changing technology, they have become a lot less uncomfortable to get. The recommendation is once a year, in addition to one clinical breast exam. That is, if you are at an average risk. 

Ashbridge said your risk is determined by different personal factors. She said those factors can include “when you had your menstrual first cycle, when you had your first child, if you had any children, the density of your breasts, family history, any biopsies that showed abnormal cells with those biopsy results.”

She says the average age to get a mammogram is 40. The earliest is 30 years old. However, general breast exams can be done by yourself at home or by your family doctor once developed.

An 11 a.m. event at the Capitol honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month is free and open to the public. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is proud to partner with the PA Dairymen’s Association in offering free pink strawberry milkshakes to attendees. Free milkshakes will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Milkshakes on the Moo-ve Milkshake Truck.