All You Need To Know About Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Pakistan has the highest statistics of Breast Cancer in Asia. Here is all you need to know about the month.

One in nine women in Pakistan has a risk of being diagnosed with Breast Cancer in their life. October is popularly known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) and although most people know few facts about Breast Cancer from here and there, we still need proper knowledge about it especially the month and the disease.

Due to the pandemic, it has been difficult to get regular doctor appointments, checkups, and screenings. But now more than ever we need the knowledge to keep ourselves safe and healthy. It is true that the past year has made Breast Cancer early detection and prevention harder than ever. Self-examination is important but getting checked and screened by a professional regularly is and should be a routine for every year.

In the continent of Asia, the highest rate of Breast Cancer is in Pakistan, which tells us that we need to spread awareness of it more than anyone else.

What is BCAM?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is organized by charities and organizations which work for research, advances, and awareness on Breast Cancer. It is a yearly organization and happens all around the world. Money is raised all throughout the month of October, which all goes towards detection, screening, and treatment of Breast Cancer in women and men. Most money raised is put towards the communities where people don’t have enough money to pay for screening and treatments.

If you want to help you can spread awareness using social media, donate to these charities, wear a pink ribbon, wear pink clothes, volunteer in funds, and awareness-raising.

Why is it October? 

In October 1985, Imperial Chemical Industries (the company which makes anti-breast cancer drugs) and the American Cancer Society signed a partnership to start this campaign. The purpose of this campaign was originally to promote mammography as a way to fight against Breast Cancer.

However, this campaign has expanded a lot over the years. Nowadays non-profit organizations and Breast Cancer survivors come together to spread awareness about Breast Cancer and share early detection techniques and raise money for charities working for the cause. And this month also supports those who are going through it.

Why do we go pink for BCAM? 

This started with a survivor of Breast Cancer, Charlotte Hayley. She used to send cards with peach ribbons attached which used to read: “The National Cancer Institute’s annual budget is 1.8 billion US dollars, and only 5 percent goes to cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.”

Alexander Penny, editor in chief of Self Magazine, and Evelyn Lauder, from Estée Lauder, loved the idea. They both collaborated with Hayley and designed a pink Breast Cancer ribbon symbol.

Susan G. Kommen Foundation was the first one to hand out the pink ribbons to participants in Race for a Cure 1991, which was for Breast Cancer survivors. The pink color is associated with Breast Cancer and 22 October is officially “Wear It Pink” day.

What is the official day?

The whole month of October is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness however the third Friday of each October is reserved as National Mammogram Day. The only reason for this is to encourage and remind people to get their annual screening done on this specific day, if not any other day of the year.

Charities you can donate to in Pakistan

  1. Pink Ribbon Pakistan
  2. Shaukat Khanum
  3. Pink Pakistan
  4. Pink Ribbon by Faysal Bank
  5. KASH Welfare Trust

And it is important for people to be aware and people who have cancer should know that they have supportive people in the community and organizations that can help.

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