Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held globally on an annual basis.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries.
According to Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer (LFBC): ”The very first organised attempt to establish worldwide attention for breast cancer occurred in October 1985 in the United States. The campaign aimed to educate people about the disease and encourage women to go for their screenings to improve their chances of an early diagnosis. This effort went on to inspire others to support the movement.
One of the individuals who sought inspiration was Evelyn H. Lauder; the founder of make-up brand, Estee Lauder. In 1993, she established the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to generate money solely for the cause and came up with the iconic pink ribbon as the symbol for breast cancer, which is instantly recognisable today.”
What is Breast Cancer?
According to Cancer Research UK: “Breast cancer is when abnormal cells in the breast begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth (tumour).
Breast cancer starts in the breast tissue, most commonly in the cells that line the milk ducts of the breast. It is the most common cancer in the UK. It mainly affects women, but men can get it too.”
Breast cancer is often seen as something that only affects the female population; however, it can affect men too. According to Cancer Research UK statistics: “Breast cancer is more common in women than men. Around 55,500 women and around 370 men are diagnosed in the UK each year”.
What is a Breast screening?
According to Cancer Research UK: “Breast Screening uses a test called mammography which involves taking x-rays of the breasts. Screening can help to find breasts cancers early when they are perhaps at the early stages. These tiny breast cancers are usually easier to treat than larger ones.
It is important to remember that screening will not prevent you from getting breast cancer but aims to find early breast cancers.
Overall, the breast screening programme finds cancer in around 9 of every 1,000 women having screening.”
Is there any way to reduce the risk of Breast Cancer?
According to Cancer Research UK, “some factors can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer
- Being physically active – Various studies have shown that physical activity can reduce the risk of breast cancer. An analysis of 35 studies found that highly active women had a 14% lower risk of developing breast cancer in comparison to those that are less active.
- Breastfeeding – Breastfeeding lowers the risk of developing breast cancer, particularly if you have your children when you are younger. The longer you breastfeed the more the risk is reduced.”
How can I raise awareness of Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
You can raise awareness by:
- Sharing on social media – By sharing this article and other articles and information on social media, you can raise awareness on Breast Cancer and why it is so important to have a breast screening.
- Join an event – Multiple events are being hosted by cancer charities throughout this month, if you would like to join an event, we recommend you to join an event hosted by Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Now or by the Pink Ribbon Foundation.
- Promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month – You can promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month by organising a donation dress-down day in your workplace, if you would like to do this then please speak to your manager(s) to get permission. You might be able to join in Breast Cancer Now’s wear it pink day, if you would like to know more about wear it pink day, then please visit https://www.wearitpink.org.
- Wearing a pink ribbon – By wearing the pink ribbon which signifies Breast Cancer, you are helping to raise awareness for Breast Cancer, why not hand some out in your workplace and share with your colleagues.