National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 1 in every 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and on average, a woman is newly diagnosed every 2 minutes. With these startling numbers, the importance to continue to grow awareness is vital
The campaign is 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.
Breast cancer awareness month is a yearly campaign that intends to educate people about the importance of early screening, test and more. This campaign starts on October 1 and ends on October 31 every year.
NBCAM was founded in 1985 in October 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: 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.
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In 2010, Delta Air Lines painted N845MH, a Boeing 767-432ER in “Breast Cancer Research Foundation” special colors. In September 2015, a newer version of the livery was repainted on the same plane.
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
This 60-mile fundraising walk, which is spread across 3 days, raises money for breast cancer research. This walk, which benefits Susan G. Komen, occurs in seven cities in the United States.
Photo credit: Swazi people joined the “Brave the Breast” annual event in aid of the Swaziland Breast Cancer Network, 2016.