Did you know that 1 in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime? Or, that over 230,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year alone in the USA? There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.
For these reasons (and more), Breast Cancer Awareness month (recognized annually in October) is so important. This international campaign (sponsored by various organizations and non-profits) raises awareness and money to provide hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.
A Global Event
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated worldwide. During October, charities and organizations across the globe host events to promote awareness and raise money for research. A variety of events around the world are organized throughout the month, including walks and runs, and the pink illumination of landmark buildings. In the United States, the National Football League promotes breast cancer awareness by incorporating pink on and off the field, and comic strip artists use pink on one day in October. Thanks to so many people around the world, $6 billion is raised each year for breast cancer research.
Going Strong for 30+ Years
Breast Cancer Awareness Month started in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, producer of several anti-breast cancer drugs). Its aim from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.
In 1993 Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies, founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as its symbol, though this was not the first time the ribbon was used to symbolize breast cancer: a 68-year-old California woman named Charlotte Haley, whose sister, daughter, and granddaughter had breast cancer, had distributed peach-color ribbons to call attention to what she perceived as inadequate funding for research. In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation had handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.
The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.
Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed.
There are steps every person can take to help the body stay as healthy as possible, such as eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, limiting alcohol, and exercising regularly (learn what you can do to manage breast cancer risk factors). While these may have some impact on your risk of getting breast cancer, they cannot eliminate the risk.
Share Your Success
As has become customary for many major brands to offer limited-edition products this month to raise money for breast cancer research or other organizations that support those who have been affected by breast cancer. To lend support to the women affected, brands from the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle industries have partnered up with charities such as Rethink Breast Cancer and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to donate a fraction of sales to the cause. From lipsticks to pink tool-kits and Toronto designed H&M t-shirts, there’s something for everyone to join-in on this supportive initiative.
We at Gyllium believe firmly in supporting breast cancer awareness and therefore we are making a contribution from each agenda we sell throughout the whole year, not just during the month of October. The collected funds are given to the non-profit organization “Hronika Against Cancer”. This NGO is based in Bulgaria and aims at supporting cancer patients, promoting cancer awareness and informing people about cancer prevention.
Having a breast cancer is a scary thought and all too many women assume that it won’t happen to them. Fact is though, every ten minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK only. So, don’t be ignorant, during breast cancer awareness month 2018 go for a medical checkup, it might save your life!