DOVER -- Tuscarawas County businesses, schools and offices are invited to cover themselves in pink paint, posters and displays for the annual Paint Tusc Pink campaign.

The goal is to draw attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

The annual observance is co-sponsored by Union Hospital's Community Health and Wellness Department, the Regional Cancer Center at Union Hospital and the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce.

"It's important to reinforce the message that early detection of breast cancer saves lives," said Carey Gardner, Union Hospital's director of community relations.

According to a recent report from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the number of women in Tuscarawas County diagnosed with breast cancer is up 6.1 percent over the past four years and the number diagnosed at late stages of cancer h also increased.

While more women are being diagnosed with breast cancer, Gardner said death rates from the disease are down. "The Komen Foundation reports an average 3.8 percent decline in breast cancer deaths over the past four years, indicating breast cancer is being diagnosed more often because more women are having mammograms," Gardner said.

Gardner hopes the Paint Tusc Pink campaign will result in bright pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month displays all around the area. Businesses and schools that put up a display are asked to notify the Community Relations office at Union Hospital at 330-602-0778 and send photos by email at information@unionhospital.org

Photos will be displayed on UH social media sites during the month.

Another popular event during the month is the Scare Away Breast Cancer Scarecrow Contest. Businesses and organizations are invited to create a 4-to-7 f00t-tall scarecrow for display along the Boulevard in front of Union Hospital.

The entry fee of $10 will benefit the Tuscarawas Clinic for the Working Uninsured for clinic patients' cervical and breast cancer screenings. For information about creating and displaying a scarecrow, contact Brittany at Union Hospital WorkWell at 330-343-3311, ext. 2165.

For information and photos of past Paint Tusc Pink displays and Scarecrows, visit www.unionhospital.org and click on the Paint Tusc Pink box display on the home page.