Turning Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Beginning in 1985, the month of October has become synonymous with Breast Cancer Awareness. First observed in the United States, October is now known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month around the world. In 1993, the Breast cancer Research Foundation was formed, and the pink ribbon was chosen as the symbol for breast cancer awareness.
Throughout the month, the warm, orange and brown hues of autumn are accompanied by striking shades of pink. Around the world, many famous buildings and landmarks will be adorned in shades of pink from Australia’s Harbour Bridge, to the Tokyo Tower in Japan, to the famous Niagara Falls. Sports fans will notice their favorite athletes donning pink socks, gloves, cleats, and towels as they show their support for breast cancer awareness events.
The importance of breast cancer awareness activities cannot be overstated as over the past 35 years, a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer has dropped by close to 40% or almost 300,000 fewer deaths.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
- Research shows that smoking increases the likelihood of breast cancer. Long-term, heavy smoking poses the greatest risk for breast cancer.
- Postmenopausal women who are struggling with obesity are 1.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than lean women.
- Women who get regular exercise can reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 25% compared to women who are more sedentary.
- Women who consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks per day have a 20% higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to non-drinkers.
Breast Cancer Detection and Diagnosis
- Once women reach the age of 40, they should start getting mammograms as directed by their physician.
- Most physicians advise their female patients to perform periodic self-examinations of their breasts. This is a way of detecting any changes in the breast or unusual lumps or skin changes.
- If anything unusual is detected in the breast during an imaging test or exam, the next step is typically a biopsy to test the breast tissue for cancer cells.
- If breast cancer is diagnosed, the physician and patient will discuss various treatment options and determine the best approach based on how early it was detected and the severity and type of cancer.
The most important factor in surviving breast cancer is early detection. Understanding and sharing this factor is why breast cancer awareness activities are so important and should be carried out throughout the year. As you are enjoying the brilliant autumn colors as millions of leaves begin to turn bright red and orange, think about the color pink and what it has come to mean for millions of breast cancer survivors around the world.
We want to hear about your participation in Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities. Share them in the comment section below or tell us on our Facebook page. And remember, while you are on your social media sites, take the time to share the message about breast cancer!