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Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
Make a Difference

  • What is Breast Cancer?
    Breast cancer is a type of cancer in which malignant cells first develop in breast tissue. Malignant cells can be defined as cancerous cells that metastasize throughout the body or invade nearby tissues. It is also the most common cancer among women. 
  • What Causes Breast Cancer?
    Although the exact causes of breast cancer are yet to be determined, it is known that damaged DNA plays a key role in breast cancer onset. Risk factors including family history, alcohol consumption, and decreased physical activity increase but do not guarantee the chances of breast cancer development. 
  • What Treatment Options are There?
    Contemporary treatment plans are usually a combination of hormone, radiation, and chemo therapies. Additionally, targeted therapy is now available. Targeted therapy utilizes drugs that inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells. 

Origins of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, otherwise known as “Pinktober”, takes place annually in October and is dedicated towards raising awareness about the significance of breast cancer. Pinktober first came to be in October 1985, founded by the American Cancer Society and the Imperial Chemical Industries Pharmaceuticals.

The Pink Ribbon Story

The ribbon first became a national symbol of solidarity in 1979 after a wife of a hostage in Iran tied yellow ribbons in her front yard, thereby demonstrating her desire to bring her husband home. A decade later, the ribbon gained spotlight once again when red ribbons got televised at the Tony Awards thanks to AIDS activists, making 1992 “The Year of the Ribbon”. Equally inspired by the movement, Susan Komen handed out pink ribbons to breast cancer survivors participating in the New York City Race for the Cure in 1991. The color pink was meant to embody the femininity that the disease has jeopardized. The Breast Cancer initiative reached a milestone once SELF Magazine introduced the pink ribbon as their symbol of breast cancer awareness in 1992. Later that year, Alexandra Penney – the editor in chief of SELF at the time – in partnership with Evelyn Lauder distributed 1.5. million pink ribbons throughout Esteé Lauder stores.

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