What is breast cancer awareness?
Breast cancer awareness is a way to bring awareness and reduce the chance of getting breast cancer by educating people on its prevention and treatment of the disease. The breast cancer awareness month is a yearly worldwide annual campaign that usually takes place in October. It begins from October 1 and ends on October 31 every year. Every year, different organizations carry out a campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer disease. Supporters believe, with proper knowledge you can reduce the risk of breast cancer and its detection which helps in longest survival rate. Breast cancer advocates help by conducting educational campaigns, raising funds and delivering low-cost treatments. Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer that occurs to women. It is a malignant tumour which arises from the cells of the breast. Women over 40 years of age or older are mostly suffering from breast cancer. Breast cancer not only occurs in women but also in men.
Symbol of breast cancer awareness
A pink ribbon is an international symbol to fight against breast cancer for years. People wear the pink ribbon to pay tribute and respect to those who have been suffering and battling breast cancer. It is most commonly seen during the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The main aim is to create global awareness by making women more aware of the importance of doing regular breast self-examinations and finding a cure. The supporters also wear the pink ribbon to express their moral support for women diagnosed with breast cancer. The colour pink has a meaning as it is a feminine colour in western countries. The pink ribbon represents health, hope for the future and goodness of people who support publicly the breast cancer movement. The first breast cancer awareness ribbon was peach and not pink. In 1991, Charlotte Hayley from Simi Valley, California who battled breast cancer created the ribbons by hand. She started encouraging the Americans by writing a message on a card saying ‘The annual budget of the National Cancer Research Institute is 1.8 billion dollars and just 5% og money goes into breast cancer prevention, therefore, help by wearing this ribbon to wake up the legislators and America’. The aim was to get more money for people suffering from breast cancer and to get a cure for its prevention. She distributed more than thousands of these cards at the local supermarkets and writing to noteworthy women’s. Alexandra Penney, the editor chief of Self magazine saw Hailey’s initiative and wanted to work with her to adapt her idea. But Hailey rejected the offer and then the self magazine went with the pink ribbon as a symbol to promote breast cancer awareness due to legal reasons they could not use the peach ribbon. Various breast cancer organizations use the pink ribbon to promote breast cancer awareness and to help in fundraising. Organization like Pink Ribbon International uses the running ribbon as their logo and the pink ribbon as the primary symbol for their brand.
Breast Cancer Awareness Marketing
During October, healthcare organizations and marketers start a campaign to promote breast cancer screenings and various other services. Breast Cancer awareness marketing plays a very important role in bringing awareness. Every year in October, many organizations and businesses paint the world in pink by bringing awareness and raising money for the important cause of breast cancer awareness with its marketing tactics. Many are not aware of the issues that can lead to breast cancer; therefore, businesses are trying to reach out to as many people as possible to educate more about breast cancer. The goal is to raise the brand for its awareness, its detection and its need for a permanent cure. With the help of marketing, many women are receiving mammograms and biopsies to detect cancer at an earlier treatable age to reduce the stigma connected with this disease.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual health campaign that is being organised around the world every October, to help in bringing awareness, giving better treatments and finding a cure for this disease. The campaign also provides information, educate and support to those who are suffering from this disease. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women globally, in developed and developing countries. Especially in low and middle-income countries, there is a rise in the incidence in the last few years because of the adoption of western lifestyles, increase urbanization and life expectancy. There are a variety of events around the world that people are organising every October which includes the pink illumination of landmark buildings, fundraising walk and runs. The month of October is for the cause of breast cancer awareness also referred to as Pinktober because of the adaption of the pink colour in support to fight against breast cancer. Pinktober is a fundraising campaign, to support the people prone to breast cancer by showing support and solidarity to the patients.
These fundraising campaigns are a great source of funding as the costs associated with breast cancer treatment can seem overwhelming. Trending right now is the use of online fundraising platforms such as the ABC Fundraising where you can create a personalized web page to honor a friend or purchase fundraising products. For example, you can buy in bulk some cookie dough fundraiser products and then sell them to your family, friends, and community to help raise money for cancer research.
Breast Cancer Awareness for men
Every human being, whether it’s a male or female are born with some breast tissue and cells. Male breast cancer has the same symptoms as the women including a lump. Though males do not produce any breast milk, a man can still develop breast cancer. A man can identify whether he has cancer if there is a hard lump under the nipple and areola. A risk of getting breast cancer for a male is 1 out of 833. The overall survival rate for men is low because they receive a diagnosis after it reaches to stage 3 or 4 cancer, which results in spreading to other parts of the body. If cancer spreads, then symptoms may include swelling in the lymph glands, bone and breast pain.
Breast Cancer Awareness: What are the signs?
Any unusual changes in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer. Some changes which occur could be less serious and not cancerous such as an infection. Therefore, if there are any changes in the breast it is better to consult a doctor. Following are some changes which are a sign of breast cancer:
- Skin irritation
- Pain in breast or nipple
- Nipple turning inward
- Swelling on any part of the breast or on all
- A nipple discharge (unusual liquid other than breast milk)
- Lump in the underarm area
- Warm, Red or thickening of the breast or nipple skin
- Change in size or shape
It’s better to do medical checkups and mammograms daily too. Early detection and preventing from getting cancer is the best strategy for a better outcome.
Breast Cancer Awareness: What are the risk factors?
Women develop breast cancer at 40 years and older. On average, men develop breast cancer at 68 years old. There is an increased risk of having breast cancer if you are a woman:
- Has a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
- Has never had children or had a first child after 30 years old.
- Began her menopause after age 55 and got her menstrual periods before age 12.
- Not physically active.
- Had already cancer in one breast.
- Had any radiation therapy near the chest area.
- Have abnormal genes such as BRBCA-1genes, BRCA-2 or PALB-2 genes.
Breast Cancer Awareness: Prevention and Treatment
With proper treatment and prevention, the risk of getting breast cancer is less by changing your lifestyle habits and maintaining your health. Women with high risk can try minimizing the risk of cancer in the following ways:
- Limiting alcohol– The more alcohol you drink the higher the risk of getting breast cancer. The best way is to limit it by drinking less than one drink a day. But even drinking a lesser amount can increase the risk.
- By controlling your weight– It’s better to lose weight since being overweight or obese could increase the chances of getting breast cancer.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking causes a link to several issues that causes a higher risk to the disease. It also increases the complications in breast cancer.
- Being Active– By doing any kind of physical activity or exercise 30 minutes a day it will help in maintaining a healthy weight and prevent breast cancer.
- Healthy diet– Diet plays a very important role. A healthy diet can help in lowering the risk of breast cancer. Try eating a lot of vegetables, fruits and grains.
There different ways of treating breast cancer. The treatments are getting better with time whereas of today there are various options to choose than before. Besides surgery, many patients can do their treatment which may include chemotherapy, radiation or hormonal therapy. No matter what treatment you choose, the main goal is to get rid of cancer from your body as much as possible and to prevent it from getting affected again. You can select the treatment depending on your health and preferences. It also depends on the stage and type of cancer you have and also by the size of the tumour.