The History of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Autumn is all about the leaves changing colors, the cooler temperatures as the season transitions to winter, and festive holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving pleasantly decorating homes throughout the nation. But what many people may not realize, despite its popularity, is that October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s initial aim was to increase awareness of the mammography as the most effective method of breast cancer detection. Today, Breast Cancer Awareness Month represents an international health campaign to provide crucial information about the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.

How Did It All Begin?
In 1986, a weeklong breast cancer event was organized to raise awareness of the disease. It was initially held in the U.S. in October. In 1992, the pink ribbon became the official symbol of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The White House was even decorated in pink in the year 2008 to help commemorate this annual event.

Breast Cancer Then and Now
As of early 2016, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. (BreastCancer.org) In part because of the insights provided by Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the five-year survival rate for women with breast cancer has risen from 63% in the 1960s to 89% today. (CancerCenter.com)

Risk Factors
Some of the primary risk factors attributed to breast cancer include age, gender, and genetics but there are related components, such as weight gain or hormonal changes, that are just considered as correlations instead of causes. Anyone at risk should talk to a relative to find out if breast cancer runs in their family. Although not guaranteed, women with a family history of breast cancer may have a higher chance of developing the disease. The best advice is to be educated on the disease, live a healthy lifestyle, check yourself monthly, and, for women over 40 especially, get an annual mammogram.

How You Can Get Involved
A large aspect of this month-long October event is knowledge sharing. Promote awareness and spread the word about Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout your office, neighborhood, and local community, stressing the risk factors and symptoms of the disease. Wear the color pink during October or any day of the year to show your support for the cause. Get involved in a local fundraising walk or run for the cure, or organize your own and donate the proceeds to a cancer survivor, local or national foundation, or towards breast cancer research organizations. If you know someone with breast cancer who cannot afford treatment, you can always get your community involved to help pay a portion of their medical expenses.

No matter what you do during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Positive Promotions will be with you every step of the way. We offer a large selection of breast cancer awareness products and promotional items to help our customers demonstrate their support for the cause, celebrate cancer survivors, and stock up for fundraising walks or health fairs. No matter how you plan to raise awareness in your community or organization, we have what you need to make the event a success.

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