• Monique Bonds

Breast Cancer Awareness

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

October may be coming to an end, but Breast Cancer Awareness isn't - we all know the power of the color pink, but do we know why?

History of Breast Cancer Awareness:

In 1985, a partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries began, and Breast Cancer Awareness was a household topic. Betty Ford, the former first lady, helped start the week-long event in October as she was a survivor of breast cancer herself. She was diagnosed when her husband, Gerald Ford, was in office, which helped bring even more awareness to breast cancer.

Early on, the goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month was to educate women about breast cancer and early detection tests. One of the main goals was to promote mammograms as an essential tool to promote the fight against breast cancer. During October, breast cancer survivors and those with breast cancer are celebrated and encouraged to share their stories. The month is dedicated to empowering, raising funds, and bringing awareness for breast cancer research and other related causes.

In 1992 the first nation-wide campaign that utilized the pink ribbon was Estée Lauder cosmetics. They handed out over 1 million pink ribbons making this the premier visual of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The National Football League has become one of the largest breast cancer awareness supporters. Nearly all players, coaches, and referees own the pink ribbon each October to show their support.

Since 1985 the awareness of Breast Cancer has become a national topic discussed on television, in home, and at school. While bringing awareness and raising donations play a massive role in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this yearly event is more than a way to collect money. Breast Cancer Awareness month helps brings awareness to the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. About 250,000 women and men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. ACS believes that in 2020 about 42,170 women in the United States will die from breast cancer. As precise as the estimate is, breast cancer deaths continue to go down. From 1989 to 2016, the death rate from female breast cancer has dropped by 40 percent. It's safe to credit these decreases to increased awareness, improved treatment, and earlier detection through screening.

How To Self Check:

Since there are no symptoms, completing a regular screening is critical. For women under 45, breast cancer is more common in black women than white. Yet, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer. Use this month and every other one as a chance to take time to acknowledge both men and women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.

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