Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
NBCAM was founded 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). The aim of the NBCAM 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. 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.
Activities and events
A variety of events around the world are organized in October, 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.
The National Race for the Cure
In October 1983 the Race for the Cure was held for the first time in Dallas, Texas, where 800 people participated. According to the organizers, by 2002 the number of participants reached 1.3 million and the event was held in over 100 US cities. The event is also being organized in several other parts of the World.
Breast Cancer Today
There are various two-day-long walks to raise money for breast cancer research institutes. Avon sponsors a 39 mile (60 km) walk. A walk in Atlanta offers varying lengths of up to 30 miles. Canada’s large “Weekend to End Breast Cancer” features a 60 km walk. St. Louis, MO offers a one-day-long breast cancer walk. This walk consists of three miles.
Susan G. Komen 3 Day ‘For the Cure’
This sixty mile fundraising walk, which is spread across 3 days, raises money for breast cancer research. This walk, which benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cureoccurs in several cities in the United States. The Breast Cancer 3-Day was previously sponsored and managed by Avon and is held in countries around the world.
Great Architect Gaming Community – A Month in Pink
For the entire month of October Great Architect is sponsoring a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign They are encouraging all members of their guild and in their games to wear pink for the entire month. You can visit their site and related thread for ways to support Breast Cancer Awareness.
Male breast cancer
Male breast cancer, which is rare, is generally overlooked. In 2009 the male breast cancer advocacy groups Out of the Shadow of Pink, A Man’s Pink, and the Brandon Greening Foundation for Breast Cancer in Men joined together to globally establish the third week of October as “Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week”.
Inspiration for the foundation of NBCAM came from Zeneca Inc. in 1989 when they began a breast cancer screening program within their company. In 1996, with the screening program and study complete, Zeneca Inc. analyzed the total monetary amounts lost due to the increase in health care provided compared with the total monetary amounts lost if the company was to scape the program were compared. The total costs to the company of running the early detection program were estimated to be $400,000. Total costs to the company if they chose not to run the program were estimated to be around $1.5 million.
Pezzullo (2003) “(Astra)Zeneca’s initial justification for NBCAM was one of basic accounting, not a critique of how women’s healthcare has been assessed or implemented nor a desire to prevent women from developing breast cancer; instead, it was cost-effective for a company to detect cancer in its employees during the disease’s earlier stages.”
Critics have said that “the BCAM idea ‘was conceived and paid for by a British chemical company that both profits from this epidemic and may be contributing to its cause…'”
Sometimes referred to as National Breast Cancer Industry Month, critics of NBCAM point to a conflict of interest between corporations sponsoring breast cancer awareness while profiting from diagnosis and treatment. The breast cancer advocacy organization, Breast Cancer Action, has said repeatedly in newsletters and other information sources that October has become a public relations campaign that avoids discussion of the causes and prevention of breast cancer and instead focuses on “awareness” as a way to encourage women to get their mammograms. The term pinkwashing has been used by Breast Cancer Action to describe the actions of companies which manufacture and use chemicals which show a link with breast cancer and at the same time publicly support charities focused on curing the disease. Other criticisms center on the marketing of “pink products” and tie ins, citing that more money is spent marketing these campaigns than is donated to the cause.
GO PINK this October in suppport of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women in the United States — slightly more than 12 percent — will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
Everyone knows someone who has been affected by the “C” word, and sometimes the stories can be devastating.
Today, Oct. 1, marks the official start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month — a month in which breast cancer charities come together to raise awareness about this terrible disease. For nearly 30 years, the month of October has held this special designation. Even though practically everyone alive has heard about breast cancer and millions upon millions of dollars have been raised to find a cure, many women today still do not take steps to detect the disease in its early stages. Unfortunately, many women don’t have the resources to take these early steps.
That’s why, through our Athens Goes Pink campaign, we have teamed up with newspapers across the country to educate our audiences about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
In addition to providing inspiring survivor stories and critical information about early detection, we work to raise much-needed funding to provide local women with life-saving early detection through a program called One Day for Mammograms, a partnership with Athens Diagnostic, Athens Regional Health System and St. Mary’s Health Care System.
Breast cancer, mammograms and health insurance are overwhelming topics. That is why OnlineAthens/Athens Banner-Herald is taking a positive approach to this year’s Athens Goes Pink campaign.
For the first time, we will host the “Hunt For Hope” charity scavenger hunt to raise awareness about breast cancer and to raise funds for One Day for Mammograms. “Hunt For Hope,” presented by BOS Staffing and sponsored by Georgia Power, Pittman Plastic Surgery, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, University Cancer & Blood Center, Talmage Terrace-Lanier Gardens, Aurum Jewelry & Art, Georgia Square Mall, First Reliance Federal Credit Union, Barberitos, Raymond James and Thornton’s Fine Jewelry is a communitywide scavenger hunt in which teams from all over our community will compete for points, hunting all over the Classic City for hard-to-find items, and snapping pictures at various iconic Athens landmarks and other locations.
Registration is $50 per car, and all proceeds will be donated to One Day for Mammograms. The teams accumulating the most points in the shortest amount of time win. The team with the most points will be declared the winner and get to choose from one of our three prize packages. The second- and third-place team will follow. Teams are encouraged to register early and will receive additional clues each week that will help their team earn additional points. Register from now until Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, at www.athensgoespink.com.
One Day for Mammograms provides free mammograms for underserved women in the Athens community and is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014.
If you, or someone you know, is in need of a mammogram and would like to find out more about One Day for Mammograms, please contact one of the mammogram providers from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. St. Mary’s can be reached at (706) 389-2700, Athens Regional at (706) 475-4960, and Athens Diagnostic can be reached at (706) 316-3662. A limited number of appointments are available.
Also, if you have a breast cancer awareness event that you would like us to help promote, contact our marketing director, Tina Laseter, at (706) 208-2318 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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